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Exclusive Tour to the VLA

December 31, 2013

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is adding a tour to the Very Large Array, a national radio astronomy observatory, in addition to its annual tour to the Trinity Site. The tour of the VLA will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014, leaving the Museum at 9:00 a.m.

Tour participants will first visit New Mexico Tech for a guided tour of the Array Operations Center and will then travel to the VLA for lunch and to experience one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories through an in-depth tour with scientists who work on-site.

The VLA is a radio telescope consisting of 27 dish antennas, each 82 feet in diameter and weighing 230 tons, arranged in the shape of a ‘Y’. The arms of the ‘Y’ are a staggering 13 miles long.

As a radio astronomy observatory, the VLA studies celestial objects that emit radio waves. With radio astronomy, scientists can study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The VLA operates by multiplying the data from each pair of telescopes together to form interference patterns. The structure of those interference patterns, and how they change with time as the earth rotates, reflect the structure of radio sources on the sky. These patterns are then taken by using a mathematical technique call the Fourier transform to make maps.

Departure from the Museum is at 9 a.m. via motor coach. The tour will pass though the Plains of San Agustin, west of Socorro, near Magdalena, New Mexico.

The tour cost is $75 per person and only 50 seats are available. To make a reservation, call 505-245-2137 extension 109.

Presidents Day Camp - February 19

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Eureka: Simple Machines & Physics Edition" on February 19 for Presidents Day. In this one-day break from school, students 6-12 years old will build super structures using their own creativity, basic design principles and simple machines. They will also learn about the properties of building shapes and materials through hands-on experimentation.

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Discover STEM Day - Saturday, February 10

On Saturday, February 10, from 10 am to 3 pm, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will welcome families and Scouts for a day of engineering fun! Visitors will experience the finest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). All activities are kid-friendly, completely interactive and designed to spark interest in the scientific fields of science and engineering.

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Einstein Gala - Saturday, March 31

The Einstein Gala is New Mexico’s biggest science party of the year! This prestigious black-tie event is the Museum’s most important fundraising event and features a cocktail reception with an amazing silent auction filled with the most unique items in Albuquerque, a delicious dinner experience among some of the most brilliant minds in science and history and thrilling entertainment featuring science experiments that will knock your socks off!

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