The square kilometre array (SKA) is a radio telescope being built for the purpose of understanding the origin and evolution of the universe. With an effective collecting area of one square kilometre, it is going to be the largest telescope ever built. The telescope is currently in the design phase, and the construction is expected to start in 2024. There are two phases of the construction, with the first phase designed for ten percent of the total capacity of the telescope. The costs of the second phase has not yet been worked out. The telescope is expected to start its observation runs in 2028. In South Africa, the MeerKAT telescope with 64 antennas is undergoing verification tests and is expected to be the largest radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, till the SKA is realised. The MeerKAT array will be absorbed into the SKA, and become a part of it. MeerKAT is just one of the many telescopes around the world, that are being built just so that scientists can get the experience necessary to design and built the SKA. Around the world, are several officially designated SKA pathfinder telescopes, that are engaged in observational campaigns and science activities similar to what the SKA is being designed for. These telescopes provide the feedback necessary to the design teams. One of these telescopes, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), is located in India.
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