World's biggest radio telescope planned for Australia & S. Africa
The Square Kilometer Array telescope will begin construction in early 2021.
AUSTRALIA / SOUTH AFRICA — Designs for a next-generation radio telescope called the Square Kilometer Array, have nearly been finalized while construction will commence in Australia and South Africa in early 2021.
The telescope itself will be built in two different phases called SKA 1 and SKA 2.
SKA 1, which will soon begin construction, includes two instruments, SKA1-Low and SKA1-Mid.
SKA1-Low will consist of 130,000 antennas and will be located in western Australia, according to Australia's Telescope National Facility. While SKA1-Mid will have 130 parabolic dish antennas and will be located in South Africa.
SKA1-Low will operate in frequencies between 50 and 350 megahertz while SKA1-Mid will operate in frequencies between 350 megahertz and about 15 gigahertz.
According to Square Kilometer Array's project website, the telescope will be hundreds of times faster at mapping the sky than other current radio astronomy facilities. The telescope will cover an area of one square kilometer.
The website states that it will be strong enough to detect faint radio signals by cosmic sources that are billions of light years away.
Square Kilometer Array's website states that the radio telescope is intended to be in operation for over 50 years.
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