The Square Kilometre Array: radio silence in Western Australia for most powerful telescope in history


On a former cattle farm in the remote outback, scientists are laying the ground for the biggest science project of the next 20 years: a radio telescope capable of picking out something like an airport radar on a planet in another solar system. Turn on your phone at your peril, because preserving radio quiet here is priority number one

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theguardian.com

The telescope will be perhaps 10,000 times more powerful than any we currently have, and we will need a supercomputer more advanced than anything yet built to analyse the data it produces. Right now we can spot planets circling around distant stars. The SKA will be able to spot the equivalent of an airport radar system on one of those very, very distant planets.

 

It will also allow us to dig down into the ancient history of our universe, and there’s no knowing what it will find there, or what it will mean for us.

 

On SKA’s website, there is a list of five things the telescope will look into, but as Dr John Morgan, a tall, cheerful astronomer from Curtin University, puts it: “You can guarantee that the thing that SKA will be remembered for – is not on that list. It’s going to be the thing you have not thought of. It’s the unknown unknown.”

The thing that SKA will be remembered for … is going to be the thing you have not thought of

Dr John Morgan

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