Europeans have begun funding what will eventually become the world’s largest telescope: the Square Kilometre Array. The first step is a four-year study that will consult astronomers and engineers from around the world to decide what will make the best design. It will then be developed in stages, with parts coming operational over the next decade, and completion by 2020. Once complete, this extremely sensitive radio telescope will help probe the nature of dark matter, confirm Einstein’s predictions about relativity… and let us watch television shows broadcast from nearby stars.
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