News / Science & Technology

South Africa to Host World's Biggest Telescope

The world's largest milimetric telescope, (File photo).The world's largest milimetric telescope, (File photo).
x
The world's largest milimetric telescope, (File photo).
The world's largest milimetric telescope, (File photo).
South Africa is preparing to host the biggest radio telescope in the world.  Along with Australia, the country has been chosen to host the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), which will be 50 times more sensitive than any equipment so far and will seek answers to the origins of the universe. 

About three hours from Cape Town lies the arid and barren Karoo desert.  Soon, that desert will play host to part of the world's largest radio telescope.

Square Kilometer Array, South AfricaSquare Kilometer Array, South Africa
x
Square Kilometer Array, South Africa
Square Kilometer Array, South Africa
The SKA will be 50 times more powerful than an other existing instruments.  Justin Jonas, associate director for science and engineering at the SKA South Africa, said the world can expect some groundbreaking discoveries.

"A lot of the science that is going to be done can be summarized as 'origins.'  How does the universe evolve, how does galaxies evolve, is there life in the universe?  There are all sort of answers that we don't right now have the possibility of getting with the existing telescopes," he said.

South Africa was competing against Australia to host the telescope.  About a year ago, the decision was made to split the SKA between the two countries, but with the core of it being in South Africa.

Derek Hanekom, South Africa's deputy minister of science and technology, said the $2 billion project is expected to put Africa on the scientific map. "We have eight partner countries on the African continent.  Now for some, they would view that as an opportunity to offer African countries an opportunity to reach new dimensions in scientific endeavor, and to be part of a large global scientific project," he explained.

The construction of the SKA is due to begin in 2016 and be fully operational in 2024, but a test telescope has already been built to try out the technology.  The Karoo Array Telescope 7, also known as KAT-7, has even been transformed into a full working instrument.

Just a few weeks ago, a first scientific paper was published after the telescope uncovered the secrets of a binary star system.  It is an encouraging first step that bodes well for the SKA's technology and potential.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid