Saturday, May 26, 2012

Australia AND South Africa Both Win the Square Kilometer Array

Artist's impression of the SKA dishes. Credit: SKA Organisation/TDP/DRAO/Swinburne Astronomy Productions.

In case you haven't hear the news, the site of the Square Kilometre Array, a massive synthetic aperture radio telescope that will greatly advance our understanding if the universe, has been awarded to BOTH South Africa and Australia.

This is a great outcome for both our countries, and science. We get the low resolution* frequency and Survey scopes, South Africa gets the mid resolution frequency scopes. Construction begins in 2016.

Of course, The Australian sees this result as a snub, not a win.

*Sorry, I wrote this at about 1 am, so I misunderstood what was going on. Australia basically gets to probe the very beginning of the Universe. Astroswanny has a much better article explaining what it means here.

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