Astronomy: First antennas for super radio telescope built

Astronomers have come one step closer to revealing the secrets of the cosmos: As part of the billion-dollar “Square Kilometer Array” (SKA) project, the installation of the first of a total of 130,000 dipole antennas for low frequencies began in the outback of Western Australia, as stated in a statement from the SKA Observatory was called.

Astronomy: First antennas for super radio telescope built

Astronomers have come one step closer to revealing the secrets of the cosmos: As part of the billion-dollar “Square Kilometer Array” (SKA) project, the installation of the first of a total of 130,000 dipole antennas for low frequencies began in the outback of Western Australia, as stated in a statement from the SKA Observatory was called.

The antennas, which look like two-meter-tall Christmas trees, will later be connected to radio telescopes in South Africa's semi-desert Karoo for the medium-frequency field. The two telescopes are called “SKA-Low” and “SKA-Mid”.

Is there extraterrestrial life?

Both regions are very sparsely populated, so there are hardly any disruptive influences when observing space. In the future, the instruments will be used to research some of the most puzzling phenomena in space - such as the cosmic web of dark matter, the formation of galaxies and the expansion of the universe.

Above all, because of its extreme sensitivity, SKA can pick up radio signals at huge distances - and thus may also provide an answer to the question of extraterrestrial life.

Einstein's theories put to the test

16 countries are involved in the gigantic project, including Germany and Switzerland. Above all, astronomers hope to gain new insights into the beginning of the universe.

"Seeing the SKA-Low telescope's antennas finally installed on the ground is a proud moment for all of us," AAP news agency quoted the observatory's director general, Professor Phillip Diamond, as saying. In the future, the telescopes would make it possible to test Einstein's theories and observe space in more detail than ever before. "With this telescope in Australia we will observe the birth and death of the first stars and galaxies, which will give us valuable clues about the evolution of the universe."

"Square Kilometer Array" is considered one of the most important science projects of this century. In total, the antennas and telescopes will later form a reception area of ​​one square kilometer, which is where the name of the project comes from.

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