Square Kilometre Array – UPSC Prelims

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project:
  • It is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope. It is not a single telescope. It consists of an array of antennas strategically designed and set up in South Africa and Australia.
    • South Africa – host high and mid-frequency dish antennas
    • Australia – Low-frequency antennas.
  • Goals:
    • To study the universe and its evolution, origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism and dark energy and evolution of galaxies.
    • To detect very weak extra-terrestrial signals and search for molecules that support life.
  • India is also a member country.
  • Note: India’s SKA membership is currently under review with India’s Department of Atomic Energy(DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is expected to be completed sometime this year.
What is Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO)?
  • SKAO is a new intergovernmental organisation dedicated to radio astronomy
  • The operation, maintenance and construction of SKA will be overseen by Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO).
  • Headquarters:  The SKAO is headquartered in the UK.
  • India’s Participation: India is participating in the project through the DAE and the DST.
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