Members of the public were welcome to an Open Night at the SAAO in Cape Town on 8 September 2018, at 20h00. Professor Russ Taylor presented a talk titled “The Square Kilometre Array: Big Telescope, Big Science, Big Data”. This was be followed by a tour of the site and star gazing.
Summary of the talk
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is one of the largest scientific projects ever undertaken. Under development by an international consortium of twelve countries, it is designed to answer our biggest questions about the Universe. The SKA telescope dish array is coming to South Africa. When completed it will consist of thousands of radio antennas spread out over an area of thousands of kilometres in Southern Africa.
The MeerKAT telescope just completed in the Great Karoo is the first element of the SKA and begins the scientific and technological journey. MeerKAT also foreshadows one of the most significant data challenges of the coming decade and the beginning a new era of South African big data in radio astronomy. Researchers working at the forefront of data science will be critical to South African leadership in the SKA science enterprise.
The Open Night took place at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town. More information on the SAAO website.