UWC Featured in Recent SKA-Newsletter

A map like nothing on earth

Scientists from around the world have joined forces to lay the foundations for an experiment of truly astronomical proportions: putting together the biggest map of the universe ever made.

Scientists from South Africa are playing a key role in determining how to use the SKA to map the history of the universe as well as answer many of its other mysteries.

The Universe in 3D

Researchers from the Cosmology Science Working Group of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) have worked out how to use the world’s largest telescope for the task. “The team has produced an exciting collection of cutting-edge ideas that will help shape the future of cosmology,” says Working Group chair Professor Roy Maartens from the University of Western Cape (UWC), South Africa.

The SKA telescope will allow scientists to look back into the history of the universe and offer insight into how the universe has evolved over 14 thousand million years. Information on how stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies were formed and how they have changed since the universe was young will be obtained. This will allow for the plotting of a three-dimensional (3D) map of the universe.

Associate Professor Mario Santos from UWC, explains: “Usually a map of the universe is made using galaxies as tiny beacons of the large scale structure of the universe. This is quite demanding as it requires the mapping of large numbers of galaxies across the sky.

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