Washington: Leading experts from around the world have gathered in Stellenbosch, South Africa to plan how SKA ( Square Kilometre Array ) - an international enterprise to build the largest radio telescope - will be used.
The more than 160 delegates at the conference included high-level delegations from China, South Korea, the UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Argentina, Australia and the US.
SKA SA project director Dr. Bernie Fanaroff said that there is a global buzz about doing cutting-edge science with the SKA and the project is already attracting some of the world`s foremost scientific talent to South Africa.
At the opening session of the conference the Director General of the SKA Organisation Professor Philip Diamond emphasized the fact that the SKA would be a global observatory and not an experiment.
Astrophysicist Professor Katherine Blundell from the University of Oxford in the UK, said that the SKA is an amazing science discovery machine, asserting that with the SKA we will be able to see fuller, reach deeper and understand better.
She said that it will literally expand our horizons and give us a much clearer picture of how the universe came to be what it is today.
Professor Michael Kramer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany said that there will be a clear distinction in radio astronomy research between before and after the SKA. All the radio astronomy research done up to now will be a prelude compared to what will be possible in future.