The VLBA is the world's largest,
instrument, consisting of a series
of spread out
across North America from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. Each antenna is
82 feet (25 meters) in diameter, weighs 240 tons, and is nearly as tall as
a ten story building. The antennas, controlled by the in Socorro, New Mexico, function
together as one instrument with very high resolution and sensitivity.
The data from each of the ten antennas are recorded onto magnetic discs
and shipped to the Array Operations Center where they are combined in
pairs in a
, the specialized supercomputer at the heart of an
analogous to the VLA.
The correlated data are then delivered to the astronomers
who proposed the observations for further analysis. The VLBA was
dedicated in 1993 and is used by astronomers around the world.
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