Searching African Skies

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Jacana Media, 2012 - Science - 181 pages
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An ambitious scientific project is unfolding in the desert of South Africa, with a multidecade time line that will eventually see expansion into Western Australia--a project that is detailed and celebrated in this book on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope, expanding the capabilities of scientific probing and addressing significant unanswered questions about the universe, such as the formation of galaxies and the nature of gravity. Technology correspondent Sarah Wild covers the important development with this exploration of its implications on an international scale as well as its South African context, from the first telescope built in the country in the 1960s to Xhosa starlore. Interspersed with |Xam bushmen stories rewritten from original manuscripts, this consideration is an informed and thoughtful insight into an exciting step in astronomy.

 

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Contents

What is radio astronomy?
1
The origins of radio astronomy in South Africa
4
The history of astronomy in South Africa
20
Southern African Large Telescope
38
Back to basics
54
The KAT7 and the MeerKAT
63
African SKA
88
Picture Section
92
Challenges
99
The African VLBI Network
120
Benefits
135
SKA science
152
Looking to the future
174
Back Cover
182
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Sarah Wild is the science and technology editor for Business Day. She is a former features editor with the Sunday Times Magazine and has been honored with a Siemens Profile merit award.

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