ICRAR have been busy since September spreading the SKA message throughout Australia and the world with significant media attention on our SKA and Precursor work, as well as public events for local Western Australians.

Latest Astronomy News:

World’s biggest telescope meets world’s second fastest supercomputer

A prototype for the SKA’s Science Data Processor was successfully run on the second fastest supercomputer in the world with the help of ICRAR’s Data Intensive Astronomers. China’s Tianhe-2 ran the test software that will one day process the data from the SKA’s Central Signal Processor. More information.


Chinese Supercomputer Tianhe-2. Image Credit: Prof. Yutong Lu.

Australian technology installed on world’s largest single-dish radio telescope

The recently inaugurated FAST telescope is now running ESO and ICRAR developed software for its archiving needs. Launched in September, China’s FAST uses the data system NGAS (Next Generation Archive System) which is also used by SKA Precursor the Murchison Widefield Array, telescopes at the European Southern Observatory, and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory. More information. Image: The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in the southwestern province of Guizhou.


Prof. Andreas Wicenec/ICRAR.

SKA precursor telescope views sky in radio technicolour

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) has completed an amazingly detailed low-frequency survey of the Southern Sky. GLEAM, as the survey is known, produced a catalogue of 300,000 galaxies as well as some stunning new imagery of the sky in radio wavelengths. The GLEAM view of the sky can be explored through the ‘Gleamoscope’ online, and animations and videos of the GLEAM survey are found at the More Information link below.


More information. Image: A ‘radio colour’ view of the sky above a ‘tile’ of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope, located in outback Western Australia. Credit: Radio image by Natasha Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/Curtin) and the GLEAM Team. MWA tile and landscape by Dr John Goldsmith / Celestial Visions.

Perth astronomy community hosts Italo-Australian joint conference


Astronomers from around the globe came together in Perth recently for the first Petro Baracchi conference on Radio Astronomy in the era of the SKA. The Perth Astronomy community played host to the meeting, including CSIRO-CASS, SKA Australia and ICRAR.

More information.

Outreach Update:

The ICRAR Outreach team has had a busy few months, wrapping up after Australia’s National Science Week in August through to evening events in regional Western Australia and a tour of our local Astrophotography Exhibition.

Pingelly Astrofest

A miniature version of our annual event in Perth, Pingelly Astrofest was held about 200km inland from Perth in mid September. A strong local farming community came out to enjoy the stunning night skies and learn more about the SKA from the ICRAR team. The Astrofest Astrophotography Exhibition was also on display, featuring images from Western Australian astrophotographers.

Astrofest Astrophotography Exhibition

The annual Astrofest Exhibition is in its 7th year in 2016, and this time around features over 30 stunning images of Deep Space, Night Landscapes and of course the Sun and Moon. The exhibition has toured across regional WA in September and October, visiting Geraldton, the Reid Library in Perth, and the small town of York. The exhibition has also been accompanied by antennas from the Murchison Widefield Array and a life-size model SKA-low antenna.


‘The Large Cloud of Magellan’ by Andrew Lockwood, Best Astrophoto prize winner in this year’s exhibition.

‘The Journal’ launches internationally

ICRAR was proud to sponsor the translation of the Dutch children’s novel ‘The Journal’ for an Australian audience, and participate in the Southern Hemisphere launch in Perth. ‘The Journal’ follows the adventures of a group of children through the world of radio astronomy, tying directly into the SKA project as well as the connection between Australia and The Netherlands.

The Journal Launch

Dr Jan Geralt bij de Vaat reads a passage from the novel to an audience of local students during the launch.

Report provided by the ICRAR