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Waspie_Dwarf

Nations to share giant telescope [merged]

6 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Africa and Australasia to share Square Kilometre Array

South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will host the biggest radio telescope ever built.

The nations belonging to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) organisation took the decision at a meeting on Friday.

The 1.5bn-euro (£1.2bn) SKA's huge fields of antennas will sweep the sky for answers to the major outstanding questions in astronomy.

They will probe the early Universe, test Einstein's theory of gravity and even search for alien intelligent life.

The project aims to produce a radio telescope with a collecting area of one million square metres - equivalent to about 200 football pitches.

To do this, it will have to combine the signals received by thousands of small antennas spread over thousands of kilometres.

arrow3.gifRead more...

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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My eyes go crossed sometimes when I'm trying to understand scientific or mathematical concepts but this array sounds awesome! Would there have to be some physical connection between the component telescopes? Would it all be wireless? My concept of an arrayed telescope came from the movie CONTACT. Would the dishes have to be laid out in some symmetrical fashion and be adjustable in unison? So many questions...

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Would there have to be some physical connection between the component telescopes? Would it all be wireless?

The SKAs website says that data transfer will be primarily through fibre optic cables. This was written before the announcement that the telescope would be based on two continents, so it's not clear if there will be a wireless element.

Would the dishes have to be laid out in some symmetrical fashion
Yes. The SKA site says this:
In order to achieve both high sensitivity and high-resolution images of the radio sky, the antennas (radio wave receptors), of the SKA will be densely distributed in the central region of the array and then logarithmically positioned in groups along five spiral arms –each group becoming more widely spaced further away from the centre.

and be adjustable in unison? So many questions...

Yes, in order to work all the antennae will have to be aimed at the same object.

SKA website

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So they to decided for the Square Kilometre Array to be built over the three countries!

I think this is great news. Hopefully it will result in a greater budget and a more advanced system in the long run! (On iPhone so couldn't quote properly sorry!)

'THE bid to host the world's largest radio telescope has ended in a tie, with the project to span South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The announcement was made this evening by the SKA Organisation's board, which had gathered in The Netherlands.

In pictures: Visit the site of Australia's SKA

"We have decided on a dual site approach," said SKA board chairman John Womersley at a press conference held at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

South Africa's site for the project is the Karoo region in the Northern Cape, while the joint site spreads from the Murchison Shire in Western Australia's Mid-West region to the top of New Zealand's South Island.'

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/sci-tech/ska-super-telescope-to-be-built-in-australia-south-africa/story-fn5fsgyc-1226367470476#ixzz1vvGt7wJ1

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Awesome news. That thing is supposed to be around 50 times or so more sensitive than any other radio telescope. I can't wait (the many years) for the first images.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for merging! I was tired on a bus on the way to help my sister move house and only did a couple quick searches and didn't find the initial thread. <<<Great excuse!

It's a long way away but will be amazing to see the results.

Edit: For clarity: (Results from the SKA, not my sisters new house being complete)

Edited by Timonthy

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