World’s largest radio telescope to spread two continents

The Square Kilometre Array
The Square Kilometre Array. Image: © SKA

A global science and engineering project named The Square Kilometre Array, has been in intense political negotiations since the project was first introduced. The project intends to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with it’s main objective set to answer big questions about the universe, such as how the first elements heavier than helium was formed and how the first galaxies coalesced. The project is led by the SKA Organisation, a not-for-profit company with its headquarters in Manchester, UK.

At first a scientific panel recommended South Africa over Australia as the best site for the proposed Square Kilometre Array (SKA). However in the latest plans announced on May 25, South Africa and Australia will share the Square Kilometre Array. The project is made up of 3,000 dishes, 15 meters in diameter, and an even larger number of simple antennas and will cost approximately $1,9 billion ( €1,5 billion). Under the deal, South Africa will host the dishes, and Australia will get the antennas.

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