Mysterious - repeating radio burst from deep space

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SlowApproach
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Re: Mysterious - repeating radio burst from deep space

Unread post by SlowApproach » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:39 am

Christopher, hopefully I'm not intruding since you asked Graham the question, but I can't stand anybody being left in doo-doo too long (something which I'm in often, these days :lol:)

The Square Kilometre Array ("SKA") is a massive radiotelescope consisting of a combination ("array") of various types of antennas (also referred to as "receptors") scattered over a large area. Using an interferometry technique, they all behave as a single receptor but with a total collecting area of all the receptors combined. The "Square Kilometre" part thus refers to the effective size of the telescope: 1,000,000 square Metres!

There are numerous countries involved in the project (South Africa being one), although the physical hosting of the collectors is currently in two countries, namely South Africa and Australia, each with their own "subset" of the array. SA's subset is called "MeerKAT", a 64-dish construction located in the Karoo near Carnarvon and intended to form a precursor to the full SKA telescope. (Aviators and people living in the area will already have had some exposure or dealings with this particular MeerKAT :wink:). From an African perspective, parts of the SKA will eventually be built and hosted in eight other African countries besides SA.

Incidentally, the SA part was originally known as the Karoo Array Telescope ("KAT") but after some budget increases that allowed more receptors, it was renamed to “MeerKAT”, i.e. "more of KAT".

Official Website for the SKA:
https://www.skatelescope.org

SKA Africa's Website:
https://www.ska.ac.za
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Re: Mysterious - repeating radio burst from deep space

Unread post by GRAHAMW » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:56 am

Christopher wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:40 pm
Graham, don't drop us in the doo-doo like that: WTF is this: <Square Kilometer Array>? :P
What Slowapproach explained very well.

Here is a short video explaining the SKA. What I did not know was that the Australian portion only consisted of antennas and not disks.

Graham Wallbridge

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Re: Mysterious - repeating radio burst from deep space

Unread post by GRAHAMW » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:57 am

GRAHAMW wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:56 am
Christopher wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:40 pm
Graham, don't drop us in the doo-doo like that: WTF is this: <Square Kilometer Array>? :P
What SlowApproach explained very well.

Here is a short video explaining the SKA. What I did not know was that the Australian portion only consisted of antennas and not disks.

Graham Wallbridge

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Re: Mysterious - repeating radio burst from deep space

Unread post by SlowApproach » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:17 pm

BTW, for those who may be interested, you can actually join in the fun looking for ET by helping to process and analyse the incredible volumes of data collected by the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project, through SETI@home ("SETI at home")

(Read the instructions carefully) but basically, you download and install a software program called "BOINC" that lets your computer become part of a distributed computing network where you can donate your computer's "idle" time to science projects such as SETI@home and Climateprediction.net. (The BOINC software platform was created by the Berkeley SETI Research Center and is hosted by the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley)

You can read more about SETI@home at: https://setiathome.berkeley.edu

BOINC can be downloaded from: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php
(The BOINC User Manual is at: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/User_manual)

Note however that SETI@home is generally offline on Tuesdays for maintenance.
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