Dr. Lewis Ball, acting director of ATNF and another member of the blue-whale-in-space group, stated, “Few other groups in the world have the skills and the facilities to make such an image, and we were the first to try.” [CSIRO[
Dr. Feain added that more detailed research will be possible when the new Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope, located in Western Australia, becomes operation in 2012. This ASKAP telescope, unlike most current telescopes, has the necessary sensitivity to detect such radio-emitting jets while surveying large portions of the sky.
The CSIRO media release states that the ASKAP telescope: “In its first six hours of operation it will generate more information than all previous radio telescopes combined.” [CSIRO]
The ASKAP telescope is part of the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) facility, which will become the world’s largest radio telescope when it is finally completed.
The SKA telescope facility will have a total collecting area of about one square kilometre. It will be approximately 50 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope now in existence.
The project is scheduled to begin in 2012 and to be fully operational in 2020. The ASKAP is a preliminary telescope in the project.
It is expected to be built either in South Africa or Australia. The SKA project is a collaboration of 19 countries and is expected to “revolutionize our understanding of the Universe by providing answers to fundamental questions about .its origin and evolution.”
Information about the SKA project from the Australian CSIRO website is found at Australian SKA Newsletters.