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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Science |

Giant radio telescope search for extraterrestrial from South Africa and Australia

Giant radio telescope search for extraterrestrial from South Africa and Australia

Some ALMA antennas, Chile (c) ESO

A project to build a huge of $ 1,870 million was awarded to a consortium of and Australia. Once installed, it will be the largest of its kind in the world.

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will search for extraterrestrial life, the origin of dark energy and dark matter, and is expected to begin operations in 2014.

South Africa will host two thirds of the dishes that capture radio waves, while the remaining third will be installed in Australia. New Zealand also participate, but in the research.

While in South Africa the installation area offers higher altitude and less frequency interference in had increased security and greater number of scientists. Finally it was decided that both countries work together to get a better result.

Radio telescopes are installed in various parts of the world, including the project ALMA in Chile, consisting of 54 dishes, or the LWA in Socorro, Mexico, with 256 antennas. It plans to install 3,000 antennas in the SKA.

Radio telescopes use directional antennas (typical dishes) that detect radio waves from space, thanks to emissions of radiation and waves from various celestial objects. In addition to observing pulsars and quasars, can also make “images” (interpreted) of objects as galaxies, nebulae and radio emissions from planets.

They are usually installed in remote areas of the villages, to avoid interference in the airwaves.

Link: Giant telescope project goes to South Africa, Australia (WSJ)

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