Being total nerds, this stop was right up our alley.
The VLA is a radio astronomy observatory, allowing for the investigation of various astronomical objects.
The dishes are moved on these tracks from time to time to change their configuration.
Despite popular belief, the VLA is in no way affiliated with SETI.
In 1989 it received radio communications from Voyager 2 as it passed Neptune.
The site has been a setting in many movies, including 2010, Independence Day, Contact, Armageddon and Terminator Salvation (in which it was a Skynet facility.)
Past the VLA we crossed the continental divide. We also saw some wild elk and pronghorns and Charles saw his first tumbleweed.
We had a few slight sprinkles of rain leaving New Mexico (the only rain we saw on our whole trip,) but were treated to a lovely sunset once we crossed into Arizona.
In retrospect, shortly after those sunset photos were taken, we went right through one of the areas currently affected by the Wallow Wildfire, the 2nd worst in Arizona's history. We'd originally planned to get a hotel in Eagar, actually, but continued on to St. Johns, instead (I also saw an owl along that drive.) To reiterate, we were here May 11th. We are not here now and were not here during the fires.
Next stop; Petrified Forest Nat'l Park, also home of the Painted Desert
In recent art news, my Moonrise at White Sands 1 photo (coming in a future post,) was "Daily Nature Photo" on The Nature Conservancy's website. I've also had 3 photos explored on flickr.