News & AnalysisRadio Astronomy

Telescope Project Splits Array to Avoid Division

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Science  01 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6085, pp. 1085
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6085.1085

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Summary

A globe-spanning compromise has put the world's biggest scientific instrument on course to become a reality. On 25 May, the member states of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project ended a competition between two potential hosts by splitting the €1.5 billion telescope between the two sites: one centered in South Africa, the other in Australia. With SKA, astronomers hope to peer back into the early epochs of the universe when the first stars and galaxies were forming, to study cosmic magnetism, the extremes of gravity around pulsars and black holes, and mysterious dark energy.