World’s largest radio telescope gets one step closer to beat Hubble telescope

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2019 12:57 hrs
Radio Telescope - Square Kilometer Array (Image Courtesy: SKA)

The world’s largest radio telescope, Square Kilometre Array (SKA), is one step closer to completion in the remote West Australian desert, as scientists are putting the final touches on the build for the ambitious project.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is heading the Australian side of the ambitious project to build the world’s largest radio telescope built across two continents.

As CNET reports, the SKA will include more than 132,000 low-frequency antennas in Australia and hundreds of dishes in South Africa, creating a total area of 1 square kilometre. CSIRO says the final setup will resemble metal Christmas trees.

With SKA, the exchange of data is estimated to be on the scale of petabits per second which means an even enhanced infrastructure and the need to control the level of radio emissions.

The projected infrastructure will include 65,000 fibre optic cables to transfer the data from the antennas to the SKA's supercomputing facilities.

As the infrastructure design is finalised across Australia and South Africa, the construction on the SKA is expected to commence in 2020.

When completed, the SKA will be capable of imaging the sky at a resolution surpassing the Hubble telescope. It will help scientists look at how galaxies formed after the Big Bang, explore magnetic fields and dark energy, even potentially search for signs of extraterrestrial life.