The observatory's several sites include the Green Bank Telescope, the Very Large Array (pictured), the Very Large Baseline Array and the future U.S. portion of ALMA. Scientists have recently used data from Green Bank to search for the frequencies of molecules in interstellar space.
The Very Large Array's boring name belies its stupendous size: it consists of 27 radio antennas, each weighing 230 tons and reaching 82 feet in diameter. The array, in the desert south of Socorro, New Mexico, combines to give the resolution of a 22-mile-wide antenna. Some people might recognize it from the movie Contact.