South Africa Marks New Phase of Radio Telescope Construction

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, has unveiled the construction of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) telescopes infrastructure in Carnarvon, Northern Cape. Radio astronomy, according to Nzimande, has begun to revolutionise our understanding of the universe.

The minister described the development of the SKA as a major innovation that will provide scientists with data to push the explanatory frontiers of modern cosmology. "I cannot help but be intrigued by the idea that significant discoveries on cosmological origins may well be made on African soil through the work of the SKA - the very place where we know through science the origin of all humanity is found," Nzimande said.

The project, which was 30 years in the making, has made several discoveries in recent years, including the detection of two giant radio galaxies as well as a remarkable image showing a combination of cosmic features never seen before - most notably, cosmic "threads, ribbons and rings" much larger than the Milky Way.


A portion of the Karoo Array Telescope - known as KAT-7 - in Northern Province, South Africa (file photo).

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