Rainbow over the dishes of the VLA radio telescope

Rainbow over the dishes of the VLA radio telescope

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Credit: DOUG JOHNSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Double rainbow over dishes of the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope at Socorro, New Mexico. The VLA is the world's largest radio telescope array, consisting of 27 dish aerials each 25 metres in diameter which can move to various positions along the arms of a Y-shaped railway network. The whole array effectively forms a giant radio dish 27 km in diameter. At its shortest observing wavelength of 1.3 cm, it can resolve details 0.13 arcseconds in scale - 10 times better than any Earth-based optical telescope.

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