Cape Town - Increased interest in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project in the Karoo has led to an investment of $9.5m by the University of California at Berkeley.
The investment will be used to increase the number of radio dishes of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (Hera) telescope from 19 to 220. The Hera has 14-metre radio dishes and is located at the Losberg site near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, a few kilometres from the MeerKAT, which currently has 64 dishes.
Thanks to the investment the Hera will become the most sensitive radio telescope in the world. MeerKAT and Hera are both precursors to the SKA telescope. With the new Hera radio dishes scientists will be able to detect signs of the first stars and galaxies ever to have been created.