04 October 2012

The Australian Square Kilometer Array ready for action!

The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder
Credit: Alexander Cherney
The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is made up of 36 identical antennas, each 12 meters in diameter spread out over a large distance, but working together as a single radio telescope.
The Square Kilometer Array is built at the Murshison Radio-astronomy Observatory site, located near Boolardy in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
Another Square Kilometer Array project is being built in South Africa joining the ASKAP.

The capabilities of the ASKAP is design to address a wide range of questions in astrophysics, cosmology and particle astrophysics as well as extending the range of the observable universe. One innovative development is the use of a Focal Plane Array using phased-array technology to provide multiple field of views. This greatly increase the survey speed of the ASKAP and enable multiple users to observe different pieces of the sky simultaneously.

Alexander Cherney had the privilege to shoot and capture on camera the arrays and make up a real cool timelapse of the Square Kilometer Array. Here are his impressions, It was an unforgettable experience - I stayed at the telescope during the day, helped scripting and testing the antenna movement for the night with CSIRO scientist Maxim Voronkov and just enjoyed the remote location with no mobile phones.

Watch Alexander's timelapse as he took 19,960 images with 3 cameras in 5 unforgettable nights at the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder in Australia.

Visit Alexander Cherney website
Source: Wikipedia / Terrastro
Image and timelapse: Alexander Cherney