Science world focused on WA as telescopes scan the universe

The SKA provides a boost for science in WA, but a decade ago the project could have been lost.

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Steven Tingay recalls when the future of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope, constructed about 300 kilometres inland from Geraldton and a precursor to the massive Square Kilometre Array project, hung in the balance.

Professor Tingay now serves as the deputy executive director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), leads the centre’s Curtin University node, and was the director of the Murchison Widefield Array project from 2008 until 2016.

The Murchison project was a $50 million investment vital in helping Australia win a bid to host the SKA.

“If the MWA failed we would not have had the SKA in Australia,” Professor Tingay told Business News.

“It’s still the only precursor (telescope) which is fully operational.

“(MWA) in itself had been a decade-long effort.”

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