The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)


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Nov 22, 2010
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) promises to revolutionise science by answering some of the most fundamental questions that remain about the origin, nature and evolution of the universe. With about 3 000 receptors linked together and a total collecting area of one square kilometre, the SKA will have 50 times the sensitivity and 10 000 times the survey speed of the best current-day radio telescopes.

With global investment supporting the project and astronomers and engineers around the world already working on its design, construction on the SKA is scheduled to start around 2016. The first astronomical observations are expected by 2019 and the telescope should be fully functional by 2024.

From the dark ages to extraterrestrial intelligence

"There is a strong science case for building the SKA, but, because there is so much about the universe that we simply don't know yet, the telescope will most likely be celebrated for discoveries that we can't even imagine now," explains Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Director of the SKA South Africa Project. "South Africa has a ringside seat for observing the universe, and we are doing our best to bring this mega science instrument to this continent."