South Africa tentatively edged out Australia for the location of a very powerful radio telescope project that is expected to cost more than 2 billion dollars. Per the article:
The US $2.1-billion SKA radio telescope will be made up of some 3,000 dishes, each 15 metres in diameter. The project will try to answer big questions about the early Universe: how the first elements heavier than helium formed, for example, and how the first galaxies coalesced. The telescope is so sensitive that it could even pick up television signals from distant worlds — something that might aid in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Great news! African nations are full of untapped engineering and scientific talent, and when this project came on the horizon I started rooting for South Africa.
There's also an African telescope array in the cards; an ambitious plan to refurbish out-of-use and soon to be shut down telecommunications dishes that are spread across the continent. Read more about that here: http://www.ska.ac.za/newsletter/issues/13/03.php
Sounds great to me!
An exciting project; I wonder how long it will take before we start hearing what they find. Just imagine! 3,000 dishes! AAWWEE!
This is simply mindblowing and surely will bring equally mindblowing results in the times to come. Hats off to those who conceive, who execute and who run this kind of a project. Science cannot just be stopped. A thing of this kind strengthens our belief and pride in science.