The interferometer, whose shoulders are spread over different continents of the Earth, will be able to see the birth of the first stars in the Universe and notice the work of radar on a distant exoplanet, where there may be life.
Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is being developed for about 30 years, and only now in Australia began construction of his "first phase" - an array of more than a hundred thousand antennas SKA-Low. Scientists call the future instrument one of the most ambitious scientific projects of the century. He will look into the earliest universe, the era when it lit up the first stars and the first galaxies, and perhaps help find extraterrestrial civilizations. This is described in a press release by the international consortium SKA Organisation.
SKA - radio interferometer, consisting of a number of antennas spaced as far as possible and acting as a single telescope with great resolution. The first part of the instrument will be the SKA-Low array, construction of which began in West Australia a year late. It will include 131,072 tree antennas designed to record low frequency radio signals. The second phase will be SKA-Mid, an array of nearly 200 dish antennas located in South Africa. SKA is headquartered at the University of Manchester.
It is expected that the tool will allow the study of distant pulsars - fast-rotating neutron stars His ability to see the most distant objects will help to better understand the origin and evolution of the first galaxies, and even look into the "dark ages" of the universe, which preceded the appearance of the first stars.
In addition, the members of the SKA Organisation consortium note that the sensitivity of the interferometer "will allow us to notice the radar at the airport on a planet in the tens of light years from us" or "cell phone in the pocket of an astronaut on Mars, 225 million kilometers away. This makes SKA a promising tool to search for a possible signal from extraterrestrial civilizations.