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India Joins World’s Largest Radio Telescope Project

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 03-01-2024
India Joins World’s Largest Radio Telescope Project Science and Technology 4 min read

The government of India has formally signed up to join the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO). The Government has approved India's participation in the Rs 1250 crore international mega-science project, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

  • SKAO is an ambitious multinational initiative to build the world's largest radio telescope spanning one square kilometre.

About Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO):

  • The Council approved the installation of the Square Kilometer Array Observatory, the world's largest radio telescope, in February 2021.
  • It is proposed to be the world's largest radio telescope, which will be located in Africa and Australia.
  • SKAO is not a single telescope but an array of thousands of antennas, which will serve as one large unit to observe and study astronomical phenomena.
  • This new venture is considered important after destroying Arecibo, the world's most famous radio telescope, in Puerto Rico in December 2020.
  • SKAO is a new intergovernmental organization dedicated to radio astronomy, headquartered in the UK.
  • SKAO is not a single instrument but a vast collection of thousands of telescopic antennas at sites in South Africa and Australia. These will connect together to form a single giant telescope array.
  • It will enable astronomers to investigate astronomical phenomena at extreme distances, advancing cosmic understanding.

SKAO member countries:

  • These include countries like Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Netherlands, UK etc.

India's past involvement and contributions:

  • Indian scientists have participated in the development of SKAO for decades through the National Center for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Pune.
  • It is an advanced 'Telescope Manager' software designed by NCRA internationally. This neural network will control and optimize the observations.

Importance of SKAO for India:

  • Joining SKAO puts India at the forefront of understanding the mysteries of the universe through ultra-sensitive technology.
  • The new research could enrich knowledge about galaxy evolution, stars, black holes, etc.

Global cooperation in SKAO:

  • The mega-science project brings together more than 15 countries spanning science, engineering and industry.
  • SKAO is a symbol of scientific unity rising above geopolitics.

Development of SKAO:

  • SKAO will be developed using results from various surveys conducted by a powerful telescope called 'Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder' (ASKAP).
  • ASKAP is developed and operated by Australia's science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
  • The ASKAP telescope has been fully operational since February 2019.

Importance of SKAO:

  • With the full operation of this equipment, scientists can get important information in many fields. For example-
  • The beginning of the universe.
  • How and when was the first star born?
  • Life cycle of a galaxy.
  • To explore the possibilities of detecting other technologically active civilisations in our galaxy.
  • Understanding where gravitational waves come from.


Answer:- Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO)

Answer:- Rs 1250 crore.

Answer:- Britain.
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