Discover SKA - The Worlds Biggest Telescope

Australians and New Zealanders are coming together for Discover SKA to celebrate the world’s biggest telescope – the Square Kilometre Array. Hundreds of events will be, highlighting the amazing potential of this international mega science project.

Science and education organisations across Australia and New Zealand are uniting in support of the SKA (Square Kilometre Array), the world’s biggest telescope. Discover SKA will encompass many hundreds of events held between April and July 2011 across Australia and New Zealand. The initiative aims to communicate the global benefits of the SKA to the general public, while generating enthusiasm about the potential for Australia and New Zealand to host the world’s largest scientific experiment.

Some Discover SKA highlights are:

- A large number of public talks about the SKA at venues around Australia, including CSIRO Discovery Centre (Canberra), ICRAR (Perth), WA Museum (Various locations), Scienceworks (Melbourne), the Royal Institution of Australia (Adelaide) the Sydney Observatory, and many others;

- Teacher Workshops on astronomy and the SKA in Sydney, Parkes and Melbourne presented by CSIRO. The Melbourne Workshop is held in collaboration with VSSEC (Victorian Space Science Education Centre) and Scienceworks;

- An outreach tour of the Pilbara area by ICRAR (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research);

- Tour to Mid West outback schools by CSIRO and Western Australia Department of Education and Training, to excite school students about science and technology;

- An opportunity to join Dr. Phil Diamond, leader of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, for dinner at VSSEC and discuss the SKA as part of the Invite a Scientist to Dinner program.

- Regular showings of the SKA animation films to visitors to the Swinburne University Virtual Reality Theatre;

- A week-long program at Questacon (Canberra) of SKA shows, talks, demonstrations plus a series of videoconferences for schools across the country;

- SKA Presentations by WA’s Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, to shire councils and schools in regional WA;

- The Astronomy WA Challenge Cup hosted at Scitech in Perth;

- A number of school-based educational events around Australia.

Visit the anzska website for a full program of events and more information about the SKA.

The activities are being coordinated in Australia by Questacon on behalf of the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research (DIISR), with assistance from CSIRO, ICRAR (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research), Scitech and the WA Department of Commerce. In New Zealand, the National Science–Technology Roadshow Trust will be coordinating community events, with support from the Ministry of Economic Development.

To be a part of this great initiative, or to find out more information about hosting activities during April–June 2011, please contact Annie Harris, Discover SKA coordinator aharris@questacon.edu.au .