Scientists finally laid out specific plans for the The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) recently in a January 15, 2015 publication. These papers will be collected and published as a science book this Summer 2015. According to SKA, “The papers being published today are part of a larger series of some 130 papers being published, covering all the science the SKA is expected to contribute to, such as pulsars, cosmic magnetism, and early stages of the Universe and the search for life in the universe.” The SKA will be a collection of thousands of radio receivers and dishes across South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand where there is the best view of the Milky Way Galaxy with minimal radio signal interference due to moisture and communications. The headquarters will be at Jodrell Bank Observatory (UK). Construction is set to begin in 2018 with “first light” in 2020.
The SKA will have the resolving power of 1 square kilometer across the universe. It will be the highest resolution astronomical instrument ever built. The SKA will allow us to “see” the farthest back to the Big Bang as any other instrument. As reported by Gen Gillian of Space.com, “in just a single day, the SKA will pump out enough raw data to beat the entire Internet’s daily output tenfold, and just one week’s data gathering will exceed the total of all the data that humans have managed to accumulate in our entire history.”
The SKA telescope will be studying many areas including:
- Extreme tests of General Relativity
- Galaxies, Cosmology, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy
- Epoch of Re-Ionization
- Cosmic Magnetism
- Signals of Extra-Terrestrial Life
See SKATelescope.org for the science.
Featured Photo: SKA Science