Long Baseline Observatory (LBO)

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

No

Address

Domenici Science Operations Center
1003 Lopezville Road
Socorro

(P)

575-835-7300

Description

The Long Baseline Observatory (LBO) comprises ten radio telescopes spanning 5,351 miles. It's the world's largest, sharpest, dedicated telescope array. With an eye this sharp, you could be in Los Angeles and clearly read a street sign in New York City!

We started building the array in February of 1996, and our first observation with all 10 telescopes was on May 29, 1993 when the LBO became the world's first dedicated very long baseline interferometer.

For over 6,500 hours every year, astronomers use the continent-sized LBO to zoom in on objects that shine brightly in radio waves, long-wavelength light that's well below infrared on the spectrum. They observe blazars, quasars, black holes, and stars in every stage of the stellar life cycle and plot pulsars, exoplanets, and masers, and track asteroids and planets.

The antennas of the LBO are similar to those of the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA). They are 25-meters across and weigh around 240 tons. The antennas have ten different feeds and the ability to observe the Universe in radio wavelengths ranging from 3mm up to 90 cm.

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