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Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Goes Live

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the cover-for-the-alien-invasion dept.

Australia 25

New submitter Random Data writes "Australia's initial part of the Square Kilometre Array has officially opened. 36 dishes out of the eventual 96 are now online, with a data output of 40Gb/s (and the article includes LoC conversion!). More info is available from CSIRO."

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Gay buttsecks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565471)

Suck on my salty football player nads, timothy!

HURRAY FOR BUTTSECKS!!1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565507)

Slashbots everywhere LUV TEH gay buttsecks!!!

Str8 B-u-t-t-SEX!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565483)

Timothy, I would like to have STRAIGHT buttsex with you, but since I am a man, I just don't know how!!!

--kdawson

Re:Str8 B-u-t-t-SEX!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566091)

ITS ONLY GAY IF YOU TAKE IT

that is true, science says so.

Wikipedia wrong... (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41565519)

Looks like Wikipedia's article on the Square Kilometre Array is incorrect.

With a budget of €1.5 billion, construction of the SKA is scheduled to begin in 2016 for initial observations by 2019 and full operation by 2024.

Not that I'm surprised, considering how horribly broken that sentence is in the first place.

Please read, Dan. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565563)

Dan, seriously, why are you such a douche? Seriously, you comment is not only a waste of time and space, but in general indicates that you too are a waste of time and space. Please stop having sex with your sister long enough to get a grip on reality and get out of your basement. And when you DO leave your basement, please consider allowing your sister out of the locked room. MMMM-kay?

Re:Wikipedia wrong... (4, Insightful)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about 2 years ago | (#41565567)

So fix it. It's Wikipedia after all.

Re:Wikipedia wrong... (5, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | about 2 years ago | (#41565677)

It's not incorrect. ASKAP is referred to as a "pathfinder" project - an initial proof of concept that will eventually be rolled into the full SKA array -- most of which will be in South America.

The SKA organization only came into existence formally last year. The ASKAP project was in progress long before that. SKA is in the "pre-construction" phase now, and won't even start building telescopes themselves until 2016.

Re:Wikipedia wrong... (4, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | about 2 years ago | (#41565719)

Blah... Built in South Africa, not South America.

Speaking of wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565735)

the full SKA array -- most of which will be in South America.

Re:Wikipedia wrong... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565887)

What does Wikipedia say about fag buttsecks with KDawson bitch??

I'm pretty smart (-1, Redundant)

badford (874035) | about 2 years ago | (#41565655)

I read the title and the submission and I cannot figure out what this is supposed to be.

I have to admit that I just returned from seeing 'Looper' with the wife and my brain is a bit gummed up with time travel, popcorn and cold stone creamery.

Truth is, I am afraid to click on the article now. It's so built up...

Re:I'm pretty smart (5, Informative)

Random Data (538955) | about 2 years ago | (#41566047)

Don't be afraid. There's nothing harmful to click on on the internet! Oh, right. CSIRO.au links are generally going to be safe, though I'm sure someone somewhere will find something objectionably. Call it Rule negative-34: someone on the Internet will find *anything* offensively pornographic!

Short answer: The SKA is (as the name suggests) a whole heap of radio telescopes spread out over 1 square kilometre. By using interferometry you can treat them as a giant dish about 1km across, which lets you detect much fainter signals and also increases the resolution, or ability to see detail.

This pathfinder is a proof of concept that may be rolled into the full thing. At the moment it looks like the main SKA will be in South Africa, while a similar array with fewer dishes will be in Australia. The Australia version just had its official opening, which is what the story is about. But three paragraphs is too long for a submission, so there were links to sites with further info.

Death by the Metric System! (4, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#41566439)

Any self respecting patriotic American would recoil in horror on seeing km^2 in the headline! Bad things happen with metric titles; witness:

9 mm - A Nicholas Cage movie about snuff movies.
21 grams - a Sean Penn movie about the weight of a soul.

Now if they'd just rounded it up to 250 acres, there would be less commotion!

Re:I'm pretty smart (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566467)

Short answer: The SKA is (as the name suggests) a whole heap of radio telescopes spread out over 1 square kilometre.

Other way round. Square kilometer refers to the combined aperture, not the baseline, which is much bigger.

Collecting area (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566499)

Mod parent up. The grandparent is underestimating the size of SKA by a factor of many thousands.

Re:Collecting area (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569351)

Mod parent up. Accurately describes the reasons for modding the great-grandparent up.

Re:I'm pretty smart (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566605)

Here's a couple of cents from a (student) radio astronomer:

The name of the SKA refers to the total collecting area of the telescope, not the area over which it will be built. So if it's built of dishes with an area of (say) 100 m^2 each, there'll be 10,000 of them, for a total of 1,000,000 m^2 = 1 km^2. They'll be spread out over a distance of thousands of kilometres - which, as you say, lets you use them as an interferometer with the same resolution as a single giant dish of that size.

There are two main components of the planned SKA: the high-frequency part, which uses classical parabolic dishes, and the low-frequency part, which uses weird-looking omnidirectional antennas (like this [wikipedia.org] ). The high-frequency part is being built mainly in South Africa, but part of it (ASKAP, the telescope in this story) is being built in Australia. The low-frequency part is being built entirely in Australia (and has its own pathfinder, the MWA [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:I'm pretty smart (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567123)

Another two cents, if anyone's interested:

The South African pathfinder for the high-frequency component of the SKA is called MeerKAT [wikipedia.org] , and the Australian one is ASKAP [wikipedia.org] , the one mentioned in this story. MeerKAT will have more dishes, which makes it more sensitive and better at looking at faint astronomical objects. ASKAP is less sensitive, but uses fancy receivers (PAFs: Phased Array Feeds) that let it see more of the sky at any moment. The plan is to use ASKAP to do wide-area surveys, looking for interesting things on the sky, and MeerKAT to do more sensitive follow-up observations on whatever ASKAP finds. So they should work well together. It's yet to be decided whether the full SKA will use phased array feeds or not: they're a big improvement over traditional receivers, but they're more expensive.

ASKAP has 36 dishes built so far, but not all of them have phased array feeds yet. The first 6 PAFs have been in place for a while; the next 6, with some design improvements, are currently being built. (Last I heard, anyway.)

No more science articles please. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565659)

Can't we have more articles about video games, Slashfart's 15 year bullshit and teh Linux!!!!onehundredeleven!!!!??

Pathfinder (1)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | about 2 years ago | (#41565685)

Voyager just left the solar system and we're already trying to bring it home?

WHO GIVES A SHITT???? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566001)

fuck you!

Awesome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566193)

Now we can find nothing even more efficiently.

you get what you pay for (5, Interesting)

z3d4r (598419) | about 2 years ago | (#41566323)

Some of you might remember previous slashdot articles featuring the CSIRO sueing tech companies over patents.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/04/22/1545238/csiro-settles-with-tech-giants-over-wifi-patent-spat [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/story/12/04/05/2131233/the-story-behind-australias-csiro-wi-fi-claims [slashdot.org]
Well...this is the kind of thing the cash from those patents is paying for :)

I, for one, welcome our new CSIRO nerd overlords.

Re:you get what you pay for (5, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#41566695)

But But But! I was told they were just a patent troll.

CSIRO is far from a nerdy overload group looking into space. They have had a much bigger impact than many people give them credit for. They've done immense research on Alzheimers, they were fundamental in the creation of Relenza (an influenza treatment), they are the biggest researchers in carbon capture and storage, not to mention their research on animal health and diseases which has helped farmers world wide.

Forget simply licensing technology from them, give them a bloody donation. In this case your life may actually depend on it.

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