Public Release: 

Updated press program for SKA 2011 meetings July 3-8, 2011, Banff, Canada

World's largest telescope: Astronomy, science and opportunity in the era of big data

28 June 2011 Manchester, UK - Journalists are invited to explore the scientific and technical potential of the world's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array at a week-long series of meetings and exhibition. News updates on current progress and the future of the project will be given on 6 July at the Public SKA Forum. The meetings will bring together scientists, engineers, government representatives and funding agencies who are working together on the SKA project.

Press conferences

Wednesday 6 July, Max Bell building lounge, The Banff Centre.
07:30 - 08:00: Minister Naledi Pandor, and Dr Phil Mjwara, Director General, South African's Department of Science and Technology; and Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Director, South Africa's SKA Project. News from SKA Africa.
13:30 - 14:00: Minister Kim Carr. News from the Australia - New Zealand SKA project.
17:30 - 18:00: Prof Richard Schilizzi, SKA Director and John Womersley, Chair, SKA Founding Board. Update on SKA governance and site selection from the international SKA project.

Events schedule
Note: Breakout sessions are closed to media.

3 July: Registration opens and evening reception
4-5 July: SKA science and frontiers of astronomy in the era of massive datasets: The promise and challenges
6 July: Public SKA Forum
7-8 July: Engineering and industrial challenges and opportunities

Registration information

Complimentary press registration is offered to working journalists. Press registration includes entry to all events and receptions with the exception of the evening banquet on 5th July for which a ticket ($ 65 CAD) must be purchased. Please register online


Press conferences will be held in the Max Bell Building Lounge. The Max Bell Building Lounge will also serve as a working space for press with power points and internet connectivity.


About the SKA

The Square Kilometre Array will be the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square kilometre giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10,000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. With thousands of receptors extending out to distances of 3,000 km from the centre of the telescope, the SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. More than 70 institutes in 20 countries, together with industry partners, are participating in the scientific and technical design of the SKA telescope which will be located in either Australia - New Zealand or Southern Africa extending to the Indian Ocean Islands. The target construction cost is €1,500 million and construction could start as early as 2016.


Jo Bowler, Outreach Officer, SKA Program Development Office, UK.
Mobile: +44(0)788 782 4758
Office: +44 (0)161 275 4130

Leanne Yohemas
Senior Communications Manager, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary
Office: +1 403 220 5144
Cell: +1 403 540 6552

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