Very Long Baseline Array

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About Very Long Baseline Array

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The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is a system of ten radio telescopes which are operated remotely from their Array Operations Center located in Socorro, New Mexico, as a part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). These ten radio antennas work together as an array that forms the longest system in the world that uses very long baseline interferometry. The longest baseline available in this interferometer is about 8,611 kilometres (5,351 mi). The construction of the VLBA began in February 1986 and it was completed in May 1993. The first astronometrical observation using all ten antenna was carried out on May 29, 1993. The total cost of building the VLBA was about 85 million dollars. Each receiver in the VLBA consists of a parabolic dish antenna 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter, along with its adjacent control building. This contains the supporting electronics and machinery for the receiver, including low-noise electronics, digital computers, data storage units, and the antenna-pointing machinery. Each of the antennas is about as tall as a ten-story building when the antenna is pointed straight up, and each antenna weighs about 218 metric tons (240 short tons). The

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