A Very Large Array
I have always wanted to visit the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in central New Mexico. Yes, New Mexico is a US state. I finally got my chance during my recent road trip through New Mexico with Snowcatcher. A fun tidbit is that the Jodie Foster/Matthew McConaughey movie "Contact" was filmed here.
From the Land of Enchantment to the high tech VLA (Very Large Array), this part of New Mexico has a lot of scientific research going on. New Mexico Tech is just down the road in Socorro.
According to the VLA, scientists there have made more space findings than any other telescope on earth. All of the immense dishes are used to collect radio waves (non-visible light) emitted in space. They are used to research star birth, galaxies and black holes.
The gigantic dishes are moved around on a rail system and can be spread out over 100 square miles of desert terrain. The dishes are re-positioned every four months.