What is the issue ?
- The vast expanses of the universe will soon be exposed to the world's first optical telescope linked to a radio telescope which has been launched in South Africa.
About the project :
- The device forms part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in the remote Karoo desert, which will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope system.
- Combines the new optical telescope MeerLITCH, Dutch for ‘more light’, with the recently completed 64 dish MeerKAT radio telescope, located 200 km away.
- The project has been six years in the making by a jointteam of South African, Dutch and British scientists.
- The study of black holes, neutron stars and stellar explosions, which must be scrutinised quickly before they fade away, would be the priorities under the project.
Significance of the intiative :
- Will allow scientists to both 'hear' and 'look' simultaneously at cosmic events opening up a vast space for research and better understanding of the cosmic processes occurring in the universe.