World’s largest radio telescope project mark progress

S Africa-Radio Telescope

China Central Television (CCTV) – Preliminary work on the world’s largest radio telescope project has made a major progress, with the completion of an array of radio telescopes in Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa and Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology joined representatives from other countries in the celebration ceremony on Saturday.

The “Square Kilometer Array” (SKA) project, the world’s biggest and most sensitive radio telescope, will have its facilities constructed in South Africa, eight other African countries and Australia. It is designed to provide answers to fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe.

It will be able to survey the sky more than 10,000 times faster than ever before. With receiving stations extending out to distances of 3,000 kilometers from a concentrated central core, it will continue radio astronomy’s tradition of providing the highest resolution images in all astronomy.

“China is a full member of the SKA organization, and the scientists in our radio astronomy facilities are already exchanging information and working together on research projects. So the relationship between South Africa and China in this project is extremely strong and I’m extremely happy about that,” said Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa.

“China and South African will continue to strengthen their cooperation in the SKA project, not only in antenna manufacturing, but also in personnel training including astronomic summer camps, software building and big data applications,” said Huang Wei, counselor of the Chinese embassy to South Africa.

The construction of the telescope project is scheduled to start in 2016 and the facility will start operation in 2022.

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