Governmental and research organizations from seven nations have announced the formation of the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) organization to construct the world’s largest and most sensitive radiotelescope in either Australia or New Zealand or South Africa and other African countries beginning in 2016.
The budget for the project is $1.5 billion Euros.
According to SKA, the project “will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the big bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth.”
The organization expressed that the “design, construction and operation of the SKA have the potential to impact skills development, employment and economic growth in science, engineering and associated industries, not only in the host countries but in all partner countries.
The particular inquiry into magnetism has long intrigued scientists. Cosmos magazine notes that, early as 1896, Thomas Edison proposed an experiment to test the theory that the Sun is a giant magnet. More recently, scientists have proposed that the entire universe is magnetixed.
According to Cosmos, a radiotelescope can measure the change in light from a background object as it passes through a cloud of magnetism (“Faraday Rotation”) between it and the radiotelescope.”
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