|Square Kilometre Array|
Macarthur Astronomical Society is firmly behind the Australia/New Zealand effort to host the Square Kilometre Array. The Australia/NZ consortium is competing with South Africa to win the right to build the SKA on their soil. We believe that Australia is geographically and technically the superior location.
A decision is expected in March/April 2012.
The SKA will be an assembly of 3,000 inter-connected ground-based radio telescopes, with a combined receiver dish collection area of 1,000,000 (one million!) square meters - which is more than 30 times greater than the next largest radio telescope ever built.
The SKA will produce a fifty-fold gain in sensitivity in comparison to the Very Large Array VLA in New Mexico; and will act as an interferometric array of smaller individual telescopes, in effect synthesising a far larger aperture of several thousand kilometres.
The SKA will look back in time to uncover the beginning of galaxy formation; and is expected to make many other new discoveries in all aspects of astronomical study. One of it's primary objectives will be to probe the gaseous component of the early Universe and to determine how the first stars and black holes were formed. This will address fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe. It will also seek to answer:
Our June 2012 guest speaker will be the Australian SKA Project Scientist, Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith, who previously addressed MAS last year about her involvement with the Australian/NZ bid.
SKA: The Square Kilometre Array Home Page - Website for the SKA organisation.
anzSKA: The Australia & New Zealand SKA Project - Website for the Australia/NZ SKA bid.
ASKAP: The Australian Pathfinder Project - Australia'a forerunner to the SKA, currently nearing completion in W.A. (36 twelve metre diameter dishes).
ABC Catalyst (2011): The SKA - A 2011 video about the SKA, with an introduction featuring Fred Watson.