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Square Kilometre Array

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Square Kilometre Array:


On 4th Feb, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council held its maiden meeting and approved the establishment of the world’s largest radio telescope.

About SKAO:

  • SKAO is a new intergovernmental organisation dedicated to radio astronomy and is headquartered in the UK.
  • At the moment, organisations from ten countries are a part of the SKAO.
  • These include Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.

What are radio telescopes?

  • Unlike optical telescopes, radio telescopes can detect invisible gas and, therefore, they can reveal areas of space that may be obscured by cosmic dust.
  • The first radio signals were detected by physicist Karl Jansky in the 1930s.
  • The Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, which was the second-largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, collapsed in December 2020. The telescope was built in 1963.

About SKA Telescope:

  • The telescope is proposed to be the largest radio telescope in the world.
  • It will be located in Africa and Australia whose operation, maintenance and construction will be overseen by SKAO.
  • The completion is expected to take nearly a decade at a cost of over £1.8 billion.



Prelims Link:

  1. About SKA.
  2. About SKAO.
  3. What are radio telescopes?
  4. How are they different from optical telescopes?

Sources: Indian Express.