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'Lift-off' for world's biggest telescope

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

One of the grand scientific projects of the 21st Century is 'Go!'.

The first council meeting of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory has actioned plans that will lead to the biggest telescope on Earth being assembled over the coming decade.

Member states approved a thousand pages of documents covering everything from the power to open a bank account to engaging with industrial contractors.

The SKA telescope will comprise a vast formation of radio receivers.

These will be positioned across South Africa and Australia.

The array's resolution and sensitivity, allied to prodigious computing support, will enable astronomers to address some of the most fundamental questions in astrophysics today.


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Australia starts building 'momentous' radio telescope

Australia on Monday started building a vast network of antennas in the Outback, its section of what planners say will eventually become one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world.

When complete, the antennas in Australia and a network of dishes in South Africa will form the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), a massive instrument that will aim to untangle mysteries about the creation of stars, galaxies and extraterrestrial life.

The idea for the telescope was first conceived in the early 1990s, but the project was plagued by delays, funding issues and diplomatic jockeying.

The SKA Observatory's Director-General Philip Diamond described the beginning of its construction as "momentous".


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