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SA to Co-Host SKA

2012-05-28 15:55:00

South Africa will host two-thirds of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, co-hosting the project with fellow bidders Australia.

In a statement congratulating the Minster of Science and Technology as well as everybody involved in the bidding process the University of Witwaterstrand said this would be able to serve as a key research advantage to the entire scientific community.

“We believe that the SKA will be the most powerful major radio astronomy programme in the 21st Century that will allow us not only to understand the physics and the evolution of the universe and its structures, but also new aspects of astrophysics, like the origin of extremely high-energy particles, cosmic jets, black holes, and the structure and evolution of magnetic fields in cosmic structures, which will probably be addressed for the very first time,” said Wits.

“This attainment will open up new opportunities for South African scientists, including those based at Wits, to collaborate with some of the best scientists in Australia and the world.”

According to Justin Jonas, associate director for science and engineering at SKA SA said Africa would now construct two of the three Square Kilometre Array components.

“The science that will come out of this is truly amazing,” added Mr Jonas.

“The committee found that splitting the SKA didn't compromise science. It will increase the costs, but will not compromise science in any way.”

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