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SKA Science

The SKA aims to solve some of the biggest questions in the field of astronomy.

The unprecedented sensitivity of the thousands of individual radio receivers, combining to create the world’s largest radio telescope will give astronomers insight into the formation and evolution of the first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, the role of cosmic magnetism, the nature of gravity, and possibly even life beyond Earth.

If history is any guide, the SKA will make many more discoveries than we can imagine today.

The science key drivers for the SKA have been broken down in to key categories, each of which has its own working group to facilitate and manage the scientific goals.

 

Some of the main SKA science drivers include:

Galaxy evolution, cosmology and dark energy

Galaxy evolution, cosmology and dark energy

How do galaxies evolve? What is dark energy?
The acceleration in the expansion of the Universe has been attributed to a mysterious dark energy. The SKA will investigate this expansion after the Big Bang by mapping the cosmic distribution of hydrogen. more…

 

 

 

 

Strong-field tests of gravity using pulsars and black holes

Strong-field tests of gravity using pulsars and black holes

Strong-field tests of gravity using pulsars and black holes

Was Einstein right about gravity? The SKA will investigate the nature of gravity and challenge the theory of general relativity. more…

 

 

 

 

Investigating the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism

Investigating the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism

The origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism

What generates giant magnetic fields in space?
The SKA will create three-dimensional maps of cosmic magnets to understand how they stabilise galaxies, influence the formation of stars and planets, and regulate solar and stellar activity. more…

 

 

 

 

Probing the dark ages - the first black holes and stars

Probing the dark ages – the first black holes and stars

 Probing the Cosmic Dawn

How were the first black holes and stars formed? The SKA will look back to the Dark Ages, a time before the Universe lit up, to discover how the earliest black holes and stars were formed. more…

 

 

 

 

 

The cradle of life searching for life and planets

The cradle of life searching for life and planets

The cradle of life

Are we alone? The SKA will be able to detect very weak extraterrestrial signals and will search for complex molecules, the building blocks of life, in space. more…

 

 

 

 

 

Flexible design will enable exploration of the unknown

Flexible design will enable exploration of the unknown

Flexible design to enable exploration of the unknown

While this is truly exciting and transformational science, history has shown that many of the greatest discoveries have happened unexpectedly. The unique sensitivity and versatility of the SKA will make it a discovery machine.

We should be prepared for the possibilities.

 

 

 

 

For the full SKA science case in detail see the SKA Science book