Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Government shutdown reaches the VLA

A portion of the Very Large Array dishes near sundown at the site west of Socorro.

A portion of the Very Large Array dishes near sundown at the site west of Socorro.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which runs the Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico and an associated major research center in Socorro, is shutting down this evening because of the federal government shutdown, according to an announcement just issued:

NRAO to Suspend Operations


Because of the lapse in government funding, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) will suspend operations within the United States effective 7:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (5:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time) on Friday, October 4, 2013. This suspension includes cancellation of all scheduled public events and operations of the following NRAO facilities:


Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), including the VLA Visitor Center and associated walking tour Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) Pete V. Dominici Science Operations Center


Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), and the associated facilities, including the Green Bank Science Center


NRAO Headquarters, including the North American ALMA Science Center, NRAO Central Development Laboratory

The Joint ALMA Observatory in Chile will continue normal operations.

These steps have been taken in consultation with Associated Universities, Inc., which manages NRAO’s operations through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

NRAO will not be available to respond to emails or phone calls during the shutdown. Additional information will be posted when it is available at NRAO regrets these measures and hopes to resume full operations as soon as practical after funding is restored.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.