Australia unveils new radio telescope

2012-12-02 21:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Sydney - Australia has unveiled a new radio telescope in the remote outback that will give the world a vastly improved view of the sun and much faster warnings on massive solar storms.

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope will detect flares on the sun's surface that could damage communication satellites, electricity power grids and GPS navigation systems, director Steven Tingay said on Saturday.

Tingay said large solar flares produced an eruption of particles that could wreck havoc on satellites, and also created strong magnetic fields.

"The telescope will be able to detect when those flares take place," he told AFP.

Tingay said the goal was to predict the trajectory of potentially damaging debris and use this information to allow the re-orientation of satellites or the shut down of communications systems that could be in its path.

He said while previously scientists could have about three or four hours' warning of potentially damaging solar disturbances, the new telescope could give them up to 20 hours.

"It's a very new type of telescope," he said, adding that its remote, sparsely populated location almost 800km north of the western city of Perth meant it was ideal for low-frequency radio reception.

Experts have warned that the sun is due to re-enter peak activity in 2013, with a marked increase in the number and severity of solar storms expected.

"The MWA will keep watch on the sun during the upcoming period of maximum solar activity," Tingay, who is professor of Radio Astronomy at Curtin University, said in a statement.

"It has the potential to deliver very real and immediate benefits to the entire global population."

Tingay said the US$53m MWA telescope, involved the work of 13 institutions in Australia, the United States, India and New Zealand, led by Western Australia's Curtin University.

The MWA will also offer scientists a better understanding of how the early universe formed by picking up radio waves that have travelled for a long as 13 billion years - or soon after the Big Bang - to reach Earth.

"Understanding how the dramatic transformation took place soon after the Big Bang, over 13 billion years ago, is the final frontier for astrophysicists like me," Tingay said.

The MWA, launched on Friday, is expected to be fully operational in February.

Read more on:    australia  |  research  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 14:01 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights
  • Thursday Kuils River - 09:13 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2508.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.