For those of you who didn’t hear, the announcement for who will host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) was a while ago. The two big contenders were South Africa (with other African partners) and Australia.

In true committee style, it was decided to go for a compromise and give it to us both. >.< This may sound like a disaster, but while it complicates the management of the project – it doesn’t really have any effect on the science.

The SKA is made up of many smaller radio telescopes and will use essentially two different set-ups. There will be a medium-frequency  array (hosted mostly in Africa) and a low-frequency array (hosted in Australia). The two arrays would have been technically distinct from one another even if only a single country had won the bid.

The South African portion of the SKA will be mostly in the Northern Cape, but installations will also be done in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Mauritius.

It’s nice to see an international scientific project happening in Africa, and I just hope that it doesn’t get bogged down or disrupted by politics – either international or internal.

You can find out more about the SKA at their website:

“ET phone home”

P.S. I’ve added a download link to the PodCast post below… as I know I prefer listening to my ‘casts in my car rather than streaming, and I’m sure you do too.



One thought on “The SKA

  1. If anyone has read Terry Pratchett's “Nation”, having the first world build their science projects in our backwater corner of the world should cause a smile.

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