Construction of the world’s largest radio telescope begins

(ORDO NEWS) — The interferometer, whose arms are spaced across different continents of the Earth, will be able to see the birth of the first stars in the Universe and notice the work of radars on a distant exoplanet, where there may be life.

The Square Kilometer Array ( SKA ) has been under development for about 30 years, and only now in Australia has construction begun on its “first stage” – an array of more than one hundred thousand SKA-Low antennas. Scientists call the future instrument one of the largest scientific projects of the century.

It will allow you to look into the earliest Universe, in the era when the first stars lit up in it and the first galaxies appeared, and perhaps it will help in the search for alien civilizations. This is described in a press release from the international consortium SKA Organization.

SKA is a radio interferometer , consisting of many antennas spaced as far as possible and acting as a single telescope with great resolution. The first part of the tool will be the SKA-Low array, which began construction in Western Australia a year late.

It will include 131,072 tree antennas designed to detect low frequency radio signals. The second phase will be an array of nearly 200 SKA-Mid dish antennas located in South Africa. The headquarters of the SKA operates at the University of Manchester.

Construction of the worlds largest radio telescope begins 2
SKA-Mid antennas in Africa: artist’s view

It is expected that the instrument will allow the study of distant pulsars – rapidly rotating neutron stars that serve as sources of radiation and gravitational waves, in order to put the general theory of relativity to the next test.

Its ability to see the most distant objects will help to better understand the origin and evolution of the first galaxies and even look into the ” dark ages ” of the universe, which preceded the appearance of the first stars.

In addition, members of the SKA Organization consortium note that the sensitivity of the interferometer “will allow us to detect a radar at an airport on a planet near a star tens of light years away” or “a mobile phone in an astronaut’s pocket on Mars, 225 million kilometers away.”

This makes the SKA a promising tool for searching for a possible signal from extraterrestrial civilizations.


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