Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4th.....Hey Hey Hey it's the VLA!

Sarah and I drove out from Socorro, past Magdelena, to the VLA on the Plains of San Augustin. We also saw prarie dogs and jackrabbits at the VLA. The antennas are cooled to 15 degrees kelvin using helium. I'm guessing the noise temperature is slightly higher but I could not find any of the operators who knew much about the receiver specifications. We saw a cool image of Saturn that was imaged using the VLA. To my surprise the rings of Saturn are radio emitters!

On the way back from the VLA we stopped at the Owl Bar. This famous old joint is just northwest of White Sands missile range and was a favorite hangout for the nuclear physicists and and other personnel associated with the testing and detonation of the first US atomic bomb. So it's an historical place. Here's a couple of shots.
I can just imagine the super scientists that sat at this bar and discussed the day's work (discretely) as they drank a beer and pondered the genie about to be unleashed from the nuclear bottle. There's another secret at the Owl Bar regarding money tacked to the wall.....but you'll have to come visit and eat one of their famous Green Chile Cheeseburgers to find out about the money wall mystery.



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