Visit to the Jansky Very Large Array

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When you’re building the world’s largest radio telescope, then you need to go and see how other observatories have done the same and learn what lessons you can – which are the good operational practices and what are the mistakes you should try to avoid.

Early in September, we went to visit the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, in New Mexico, USA. The JVLA is an iconic radio telescope with its distinctive ‘Y’ shaped configuration and featuring in various film and TV shows, most notably perhaps in the movie Contact.

At the time of our visit, the 25-metre dishes were being moved out to their very widest configuration where the furthest distance between two individual dishes reaches over 22.6 miles. They are moved, individually, by a transporter along the train tracks you can see in many of the images here.

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an adobe hotel

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The Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe. This is an opulent hotel in Santa Fe, in the very distinctive adobe style. It is not the hotel that I stayed in.

church in santa fe, new mexico

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My trip to Santa Fe in March was my first time to Southern US (I’m not counting California). This was the first time I had seen, first-hand, the Adobe architecture that this region is famed for, as characterised by this church near the centre of the town. I found it fascinating, but I was there for just 5 days (and most of the time was spent inside a hotel attending a conference) – I wondered how the residents feel living with this style over many years.

desktop of the month – april 2011

Better late than never, as they say. This month’s desktop calendar comes from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was there early in March for a conference. It was my first time in Santa Fe and New Mexico, and my first exposure to the adobe style.

Sizes available: 1920×1200, 1600×1200, 1280×854

Let me know if  you need a different size for your computer screen.