Germany joins the SKA Organisation

The Board of Directors of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation has approved Germany as the tenth member of the organisation to participate in the detailed design of the SKA telescope.

Fig.: Artist’s impression of a field of individual SKA antennae with a diameter of 15m
© SKA Organisation/Swinburne Astronomy Productions

The SKA will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever built. It will enable astronomers to glimpse the formation and evolution of the very first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, investigate the nature of gravity, and possibly even discover life beyond Earth.

Germany joins the SKA Organisation at the end of what has been an exciting first year for the newly formed organisation. In May 2012 the members of the SKA Organisation agreed on a dual site for the SKA to maximise on investments already made at the candidate sites in Australia and South Africa. Both sites offer exceptionally radio quiet environments for detecting very faint radio waves from the early universe and many thousands of SKA receptors will soon be constructed across these two desert regions.

The SKA will use technology currently being tested with the European radio telescope LOFAR (Low-Frequency-Array). Germany plays an important role in this project, with antenna stations in Effelsberg, Unterweilenbach (operated by MPA), Tremsdorf, Tautenburg and Jülich.

About the SKA:

The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The Max Planck Society participates in SKA through its general administration as well as the following institutes: Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) and Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR). The German astronomical community concentrates its SKA activities through the “German Long Wavelength Consortium” (GLOW) and in particular the “SKA Working Group“ within GLOW. In this framework, linkPfeilExtern.gifa German White Paper was published about SKA. The German contribution to the SKA Organisation amounts to 1 Million Euro, which is funded equally by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Max Planck Society.

Further Information:

Press Release by the Max Planck Society (in German) linkPfeilExtern.gif

Square Kilometre Array (SKA): linkPfeilExtern.gif
LOFAR-Website at MPA: linkPfeilExtern.gif