The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.
Thousands of linked radio wave receptors will be located in Australia and in Southern Africa. Combining the signals from the antennas in each region will create a telescope with a collecting area equivalent to a dish with an area of about one square kilometre.
The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth.
The Square Kilometre Array is a global science and engineering project led by the SKA Organisation, a not-for-profit company with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK.
An array of dish receptors will extend into eight African countries from a central core region in the Karoo desert of South Africa. A further array of mid frequency aperture arrays will also be built in the Karoo. A smaller array of dish receptors and an array of low frequency aperture arrays will be located in the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.
The target construction cost is €1,500 million and construction is scheduled to start in 2016.