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SKA Pathfinder Telescope Launched in Western Australia

 
0pEnLy~Gr@y
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User ID: 24442987
Australia
10/05/2012 01:38 AM
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SKA Pathfinder Telescope Launched in Western Australia
A major part of a colossal radio telescope that astronomers expect will provide the farthest peek into the universe has been officially opened in the remote, red-dirt desert of Western Australia.

Construction of the CSIRO's ground-breaking, 36-dish Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, about 315km northeast of Geraldton, is now complete.

"There's one project to carry out a census of all the local galaxies within a few billion light years of us and that will give us the most accurate map of the mass around us ... and how the Milky Way was formed," Dr Boyle said.

Dr Boyle said another project would look for all the black holes in the universe - the dense, compact objects that seed the formation of galaxies.

The search for extraterrestrial life was an interesting secondary objective, he added.

"It's almost a parallel activity to all the survey work that's being done," Dr Boyle said.

"As you're surveying the sky, particularly over wide areas of sky looking for other objects, you're also increasing the search volume for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.

"The more panoramic your field of view, the more chance you have of picking anything up."

[link to au.news.yahoo.com]
~Gr@y Believer~
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Australia
10/05/2012 01:53 AM
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Re: SKA Pathfinder Telescope Launched in Western Australia
This time-lapse shows off the new telescope, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), standing tall in Western Australia.

ASKAP has been designed to be able to survey the whole sky extremely quickly. This in turn will make possible astronomy projects that could never have been done before.

ASKAP has 36 antennas that work together as one. They are quite spread out, so here only a few are visible together in one frame.



[link to www.youtube.com]
~Gr@y Believer~
0pEnLy~Gr@y (OP)

User ID: 24442987
Australia
10/05/2012 01:57 AM
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Re: SKA Pathfinder Telescope Launched in Western Australia
ASKAP comprises 36 radio dishes, each with a diameter of 12 metres, making the telescope sensitive to faint radiation from the Milky Way and giving it the ability to detect very distant galaxies.

It is also a remarkably complex telescope.

A new receiver technology called a phased array feed, developed in Australia by CSIRO, gives ASKAP an unrivalled capability to survey large volumes of the cosmos.

These special cameras increase the area of sky visible to the telescope at any one time by a factor of 30 over existing technology.

This increases the scale of the resulting photographs of the radio sky from the size of the full moon to an area larger than the Southern Cross.

The addition of this wide-angle camera boosts the survey speed of ASKAP, allowing astronomers to carry out large “drift-net” surveys, to trawl the sky and gather information on hundreds of millions of galaxies.

By working in this way, the telescope is able to tackle big-ticket research areas such as cosmology and dark energy and gather enough statistical information to study the fascinating life stories of galaxies...


[link to theconversation.edu.au]
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