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China adopts decision to jointly build SKA radio telescope

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-30 13:49
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BEIJING -- China has approved joining a convention on establishing the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), with the decision passed at the 28th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress, the top legislature, on Thursday.

The move will contribute to research on radio astronomy, basic physics and information science, as well as solving major scientific problems.

The SKA will be the world's largest radio telescope array, with much higher sensitivity and survey speed than any other radio instrument so far developed.

It will not be a single telescope, but rather a network of thousands of radio antennas of varying types and sizes, located at several sites in Western Australia and Southern Africa.

The SKA will be jointly funded, built and run by more than 10 countries, with China being one of the seven founding members and a signatory to the SKA Observatory Convention signed in 2019.

The construction of the SKA is scheduled to begin in July. The first phase of the SKA, accounting for 10 percent of its full scale, will be put into use in 2028.

Scientists will use the super telescope to study the evolution of the universe, understand the nature of gravity, explore the origins of life and the origins of cosmic magnetic fields, as well as search for extraterrestrial civilization.

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