Construction of the Square Kilometer Array Radio Telescope begins

Construction of the Square Kilometer Array Radio Telescope begins
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Illustration of SKA in South Africa (left) and Australia (right).

The world’s largest radio telescope is officially built in Australia, where one is in the works will be component intercontinental instrument. When launched in the late 2020s, the telescope will provide a sharper and wider view. the universe at radio wavelengths.

The telescope is called the Square Kilometer Array, and vice versa the initial goal of scientists is to have a collection surface of square kilometers; the current SKA will have a collection area of ​​one square kilometer. according to Launch of the SKA Observatoryteams noted the starting construction with ceremonies at project sites in Australia and South Africa.

The array will consist of a combination of about 200 radio dishes and 130,000 smaller dipoles. ground based antennas. In other words, the SKA is a large telescope made up of many smaller telescopes.

The radio stations of the series will be located in South Africa karoo desert, and its Christmas tree-shaped antennae will be located deep in the Western Australian outback. Radio telescopes need radio silence to be able to focus on long wavelengths from deep space, therefore The organizers of SKA chose them remote installations.

It is not necessary to have such huge scientific instruments in wild places challenges in Australia, ants fry electronics, and termites build mounds around telescope antennas. Kangaroos sometimes kick existing tools, and Giant lizards named Steve walk around arrays like they own the place. And geven the near absence of peoplethey are one of a kind.

Composite image of planned SKA meals (left) and completed MeerKAT meals (right) in South Africa.

Numerous predecessors of the SKA already existincluding the MeerKAT array in South Africa, which received one a stunning image of the “strings” at the galactic center. But after years of design and planning, major parts of the SKA are only now being built. The completed SKA is expected to be commissioned in the late 2020s.

Bigger telescope arrays offer better resolution—hence the excitement about what will be the world’s largest radio telescope array.

“To put the SKA’s sensitivity into perspective, the SKA was able to detect a mobile phone in an astronaut’s pocket on Mars 225 million kilometers away,” said Danny Price, senior scientist at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy. told AFP.

The SKA will also study massive compact objects such as pulsars and black holes to better understand gravitational waves period of reionizationwhen the first galaxies and stars appeared, and the first billion years of the universe.

The Webb Space Telescope also looks at the earliest light in the universe, but it not much, but observations at infrared and near-infrared wavelengths longer radio wavelengths.

Combine these advanced observatories with the number of new space missions set to launch at the start of the decade, and it’s clear that we’re in for some very exciting astrophysical insights in the coming years.

Read more: Webb Telescope Turns Eye on Saturn’s Mysterious Moon Titan

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