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South Africa, Australia share location of $2b radio telescope

The world’s most powerful radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be built in both South Africa and Australia, a scientific consortium planning to set up the $2 billion project announced May 25, 2012 in Amsterdam.

SKA’s Board Chairman John Womersley who made the announcement said they have decided on a “dual site” approach.

The SKA is an instrument that will be 50 times more sensitive than today’s most powerful radio telescopes.

Ghana who backed South Africa for the bid will be connected to the telescope through a network of dishes stretching across southern and eastern Africa.

Despite the sharing, the South African BusinessDay reports that sources close to the project have said South Africa would get the lion’s share of the telescope.

Officials say construction of the project will start in 2016 and become operational by 2024.

When completed SKA will be made up of 3,000 dishes, each 15 meters wide, together with many more antennae that will stretch over 3,000 km (1,864 miles).

By Ekow Quandzie

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