South Africa confident on super-telescope bid ahead of talks

Mar 29, 2012
An artist impression released by the SPDO show dishes of the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope by night. South African science minister Naledi Pandor said Thursday she remains confident on her country's bid to host the world's most powerful radio telescope, ahead of a crucial meeting next week.

South African science minister Naledi Pandor said Thursday she remains confident on her country's bid to host the world's most powerful radio telescope, ahead of a crucial meeting next week.

Scientists hope the , or SKA, will shed new light on fundamental questions about the universe, including how it began, why it is expanding and whether it contains life beyond our planet.

A decision on whether South Africa or Australia will host the $2 billion SKA had been expected next week, but the international consortium behind the project is now expected to debate a while longer.

"We have always been confident of the scientific and technical strength of our bid," Pandor said in a statement.

"Nonetheless, we recognise the importance of inclusivity and the imperative of ensuring all members of the SKA Organisation are part of discussions."

"Africa is ready to host the SKA and wants to do so. We are entirely committed to the success of the SKA and believe that it is best achieved in Africa," she added.

The SKA agreed last week to recommend a site to the full membership of the international consortium financing the scheme.

The members are set to meet on April 3 in Amsterdam, but are expected to debate the recommendation without making a final decision.

If South Africa wins the bidding, engineers will connect antennas in the arid Karoo region by remote link to a network of stretching across southern and eastern Africa and as far away as Ghana.

The new instrument will be 50 to 100 times more sensitive than today's most powerful .

Explore further: Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Debate still raging on site for super-telescope

Mar 23, 2012

An international consortium planning to build the world's most powerful radiotelescope is still debating whether South Africa or Australia should host the $2 billion project, an official said Friday.

Recommended for you

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

1 hour ago

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

17 hours ago

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

How many moons does Venus have?

Apr 23, 2014

There are dozens upon dozens of moons in the Solar System, ranging from airless worlds like Earth's Moon to those with an atmosphere (most notably, Saturn's Titan). Jupiter and Saturn have many moons each, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

Professional and amateur astronomers join forces

(Phys.org) —Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time. These amateur astronomers devote hours ...

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...