The new VLA is not your grandmother’s VLA. And we’ve got the pictures to prove it.
Sure, the new Very Large Array looks exactly like the old Very Large Array. But appearances can be deceiving. In the gullets of these 28 antennas (27 working, with 1 to spare) are entirely new receivers. Under thousands of acres of the San Agustin Plain in New Mexico are 3000 miles of new fiber optic cables. And the original, Ernestine’s correlator in the dusty basement has been superseded by a clean room-protected, petaflop-speed supercomputer designed by the National Research Council of Canada.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory runs the VLA, and they’ve been working on these upgrades for many, many years to turn this world-class instrument into an übertelescope.
(For those of you who want me to quantify the überness of…
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