Soon, scientists are going to install an array of 3,000 radio telescopes in the South African desert and the Australian outback. They are doing this with the purpose of listening to the oldest sounds that exist in the universe.
For this project, several researchers from across the world came together. The scientists come from different parts of Europe, Australia, China, and Britain. This is going to be the world’s largest radio telescope array or the world’s largest astronomical instrument.
The World’s Largest Radio Telescope Array, an Ambitious Project
This project is so big that no one nation can support the costs necessary for its construction on its own. Amazingly, each of the dishes will be 21 meters tall.
A prototype of the design of the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) was unveiled in Shijiazhuang (China) on February 6. By April, we should see another prototype erected at one of its future locations site in South Africa.
The construction of the SKA was pushed to 2026 since there are a couple of diplomatic and funding issues that the team needs to solve first. Phil Diamond, who is the director-general of the SKA Organisation (Manchester, UK), declared that it’s great to see the project taking some steps forward. According to him, this important achievement comes after an already 5-years effort.
What Is Their Purpose?
But why are the scientists doing this? As mentioned above, they want to listen to the universe’s oldest sounds. Nonetheless, researchers also have some other questions in mind that they would like to find an answer for. The list of questions includes:
- Was Einstein right?
- How were the first black holes and stars formed?
- What generates giant magnetic fields in space?
- How do galaxies evolve and what is dark energy?
- Are we alone in the universe?
This is a world first, as Douglas Bock, the director of astronomy and space science at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, declared. According to him, it’s a global science project we should be proud of achieving.
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