South Africa and Australia on SKA shortlist

posted: 3673 days ago, on Friday, 2007 Sep 28 at 17:03
tags: astronomy, observatories, SKA.

SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than the most powerful radio telescopes we now have.

A press release from the Royal Astronomical Society bears the good news that we and the Ozzies have made it through to the next round of Square Kilometre Array (SKA) selection, with China and Argentina/Brazil losing out.

The proposed Chinese site would place unacceptable restrictions on the placement of the central elements of the SKA and the joint Argentinian/Brazilian proposal was eliminated because the ionospheric conditions above South America would limit the SKA's performance at low frequencies.

For Australia, the core site is proposed to be at Mileura station, about 100km west of Meekathara in Western Australia. Other dishes would be distributed over the Australian continent with the possibility of extension into New Zealand.

Here at home, the central location would be in the Karoo, about 95 km from Carnarvon, with further dishes located elsewhere in South Africa and also in Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Madagasgar, Mauritius, Kenya, and Ghana.

The SKA will be a set of thousands of antennas spread over 3000 km, but with half of the antennas located in a central region 5 km across. The SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than the most powerful radio telescopes we now have.

References

1. Press release from the South African SKA group

2. International SKA website

nothing more to see. please move along.