Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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In 2012, South Africa won the bid to host the largest part of the International Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope project. The array will consist of more than 2,500 telescopes spread out across the nation and other partner countries in Africa. The combined signals from these antennae, along with those in Australia, will form the largest radio telescope in the world.

Funding and development for the project is well underway; last month, the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) successfully created its first image using six antennas together, and on March 11th the UK Science Minister, the Rt Hon David Willetts, announced a significant investment in the project.

The data collected by the SKA in a single day would take nearly two million years to playback on an iPod.

The SKA central computer will have the processing power of about one hundred million PCs.

The scientists behind the project say that it will not only aid science to unlock some of the mysteries of the universe, but also will lead to South Africa and its African partners acquiring the technological and scientific research skills needed to contribute to today's global knowledge economy.


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