The SKA Telescopes

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a next-generation radio telescope that, when complete, will far exceed the capabilities of any existing radio telescope. The SKA telescope will be used by scientists to make ground-breaking discoveries about the Universe.

Radio telescopes like the SKA detect radio waves produced by physical processes in space. The radio waves are then translated into useful data and imagery for astronomers. Radio astronomy has produced some of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. These discoveries include the cosmic microwave background, quasars and pulsars, and evidence for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Radio telescopes add to observations made by optical and other telescopes by revealing different information about stars, galaxies and gas clouds. Because radio waves can pass through clouds of dust and gas, radio telescopes are able to observe objects and processes not visible to other telescopes.

In its first phase, the SKA will consist of two telescopes, each made up of thousands of small antennas. The signals from these antennas will be combined by supercomputers to produce useful and previously unattainable information about our Universe.

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