SKA's new telescope listening out for extraterrestrial civilizations

SKA's next-gen telescopes will reach out into the stars, and look for everything between alien life, answers to the Universe.

1 minute & 46 seconds read time

SKA is building out the world's largest telescope, with the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO) costing $2.2 billion and will have 197 dishes (50 feet/15 meters in diameter) installed in Karoo, South Africa's Northern Cape, and then 131,072 antennas (6.5 feet/2 meters tall) in Murchison, in Western Australia.

Professor Philip Diamond, Director-General of SKAO said during at SKAO's global HQ in the UK this week: "I am ecstatic-this moment has been 30 years in the making. Humankind is taking another giant leap by committing to build what will be the largest science facility of its kind on the planet".

SKA's new radio telescopes will study the "detailed properties of the first luminous objects in the universe, and be able to take snapshots of the 21cm emission at many different epochs, before, during and after reionisation, yielding detailed information about the formation of the first structures in the universe. It will provide the best measurements available of the characteristics of the first light sources in the universe" according to the SKA Telescope website.

SKA's new telescope listening out for extraterrestrial civilizations 05

Not only that, but the SKA's new telescope is "so sensitive that it will be able to detect signals comparable in strength to television transmitters operating on planets around the closest stars to the Sun out to dozens of light years. The SKA will be able to search for these "leakage" signals from other civilizations for the first time".

The super-sensitive SKA telescope will allow scientists to search for intentional beacons expand by 1000x that will be driven through wider ranges of frequencies at their finger tips. The team adds: "The detection of such extraterrestrial signals would forever change the perception of humanity in the Universe. The search is on, and the SKA will be at the forefront of one of human kinds greatest quests".

  • Australia: The core site is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) at Mileura Station near Boolardy in Western Australia 315 km north-east of Geraldton[55][56] on a flat desert-like plain at an elevation of about 460 metres.
  • South Africa: The core site is located at 30°43′16.068″S 21°24′40.06″E at an elevation of about 1000 metres in the Karoo area of the arid Northern Cape Province, about 75 km north-west of Carnarvon, with distant stations in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.

SKA-Mid (South Africa) and SKA-Low (Western Australia) which describe the radio frequency that they cover, respectively.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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