Friday, May 28, 2010

Aussies and Kiwis link up to boost SKA chances

Six radio telescopes across both Australia and New Zealand have linked up to perform Radio Astronomy for the first time, creating a telescope baseline of 5500km. In doing so, they have created images that are 10 times more detailed than those of the Hubble Telescope.

The team from Australian and New Zealand imaged the Centaurus A galaxy, which is over 14 million light years away. The team included Auckland University of Technology’s Warkworth telescope, three CSIRO telescopes in New South Wales, the new Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) facility in WA, and the University of Tasmania’s dish near Hobart.

The new link up was enabled by the new 1Gbps Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN) connection allowing data transfer across the Tasman.

I must say, I find this “competitive science” attitude between Australia and South Africa wonderful, with both countries trying to out-science each other in the race for the SKA. In the end, it seems the science is the true winner, with the reverse situation than normal occurring. Politicians coming to scientists, and asking what they can do for them!

The CSIRO media release is here.

Well done Team ANZ SKA.

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