Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 227, Issue 1–2, pp 83–91 | Cite as

A window on the plasma universe: the very large array

  • Kevin R. Healy


For nearly two decades, the aperature synthesis telescope known as the Very Large Array (VLA) has been providing a wealth of data on all types of astronomical objects. This telescope fills the need for more powerful and more sensitive instruments to gather data on a vast range of plasma phenomena in astrophysical settings. Currently the VLA is capable of observing at eight radio frequency bands (four corresponding to important spectral lines) with sensitivities on the order of 10−29Wm−2Hz−1, or 10−3 Jansky (1 mJy), and noise levels ten times lower. This paper describes the VLA and its capabilities, and describes how researchers interested in plasma astrophysics can use the instrument.

Key words

Instrumentation Radio Astronomy Plasma Astrophysics 


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  1. NRAO staff, edited by Robert Hjellming: 1983,An Introduction to the NRAO Very Large Array, Internal NRAO PublicationGoogle Scholar
  2. R. A. Perley: 1994,Very Large Array Observational Status Summary, June 6, 1994 edition, Internal NRAO PublicationGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin R. Healy
    • 1
  1. 1.Very Large Array Operations CenterNational Radio Astronomy ObservatorySocorroUSA

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