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Radio astronomy strengthens ties between Australia and Asia

Media release

Radio astronomy researchers from the Asia-Oceania region will meet in Perth tomorrow to discuss the latest advances and scientific benefits of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

VLBI connects radio telescopes hundreds to thousands of kilometres apart, creating a telescope the size of a continent. With such a telescope, the sky can be viewed in amazing detail, with a resolution of a millionth of a degree.

About 40 researchers from 16 organisations will attend the Advances in Asia and Oceania Toward Very Long Baseline Interferometry in the Age of the Square Kilometre Array, held at the Perth Zoo from 4-6 May.

Professor Steven Tingay, ICRAR Deputy Director, said rapid and impressive advances in VLBI were taking place throughout Asia and Oceania.

“With the high level of technical expertise in the region and new radio telescopes being brought online in India, China, Japan and Korea, it is timely to come together and discuss VLBI and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA),” Professor Tingay said.

Participants will discuss VLBI projects throughout Asia and Oceania as well as what scientific benefits the SKA can provide for the region. The techniques behind VLBI are exactly the same as will be used for the SKA.

When complete, the SKA will be the largest radio astronomy instrument ever constructed and may be situated in the Asia/Oceania region if the Australia and New Zealand bid is successful.

The workshop is sponsored by the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, CSIRO and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

For more information on the workshop see: http://www.icrar.org/news/VLBI-SKA

ICRAR is a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia providing research excellence in the field of radio astronomy.

Contacts:
Professor Steven Tingay
ICRAR Deputy Director I Curtin University
Tel: 0 8 9266 3516, Mobile: 0425 771 856, Email: steven.tingay@icrar.org  

Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mobile: 0401 103 532, Email: andrea.barnard@curtin.edu.au  

Web: http://curtin.edu.au