New telescope is trying to figure out if we’re alone in the universe

This is what the SKA system should look like after completion. Department of Industry, Science and Resources

A new facility being built in the Australian outback could potentially detect extraterrestrial life in the universe.

Around 520 kilometers north of the western city of Perth, construction work on the world’s largest radio telescope began on Monday.

When the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is complete, the $2 billion facility will be able to cover the entire observable universe in unprecedented detail, with more than 130,000 Christmas tree-shaped antennas offering astronomers and scientists a lot of valuable space Data that could unlock some of the mysteries of the universe.

The antennas will scan the observable universe for radio frequencies in the low range between 50 and 350 megahertz and will be able to image what is seen 135 times faster than existing telescopes.

“The size of the SKA represents a major advance in both engineering and research and development to build and deliver a unique instrument,” says the SKA organization on its website.

“As one of the greatest scientific endeavors in history, SKA will bring together a wealth of the world’s top scientists, engineers and policymakers to bring the project to fruition.”

It added that its unique configuration will provide users of the facility “an unrivaled observation range that far exceeds the Hubble Space Telescope’s image resolution quality.”

The SKA will be operated in conjunction with a similar project in South Africa, which will use around 200 space-facing dishes.

The international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope has spanned three decades. Construction of the facility will take approximately six years, with some of the work involving land agreements with local Aboriginal communities.

Scientists and astronomers can obtain data from the SKA before construction is complete, so it could offer fascinating insights in as little as four years.

Professor Alan Duffy, Chief Scientist at the Royal Institution of Australia, told the Brisbane Times of some of the work the SKA will undertake: “The scientific goals are as broad as the telescope itself, from searching for planet-forming and signs of the extraterrestrial Living to map the cosmic web of dark matter and the growth of galaxies within these vast, universe-spanning filaments.”

SKA officer Dr. Sarah Pearce, meanwhile, revealed a tantalizing detail: “The SKA telescopes will be sensitive enough to detect an airport radar on a planet orbiting a star 10 light-years away, and might even answer the biggest question of all: Is it us?” alone in the universe?”

Editor’s Recommendations






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *