Welcome to the 2021 Virtual SKA Science Conference

A precursor view of the SKA Sky

The SKA project is a global collaboration to build the World’s largest radio telescopes that will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics. 

The SKA’s science goals are broad and ambitious, looking back into the history of the Universe as far as the Cosmic Dawn, when the very first stars and galaxies formed, and up until the present moment, with observations of unprecedented sensitivity in the spectral, spatial and time domain, seeking answers to some of the biggest remaining questions in astrophysics.

In order to achieve those goals, two world-class radio telescopes operating in complementary regimes of the electromagnetic spectrum will be constructed: a mid-frequency radio telescope, consisting of an array of 197 radio dishes, each up to 15m in diameter, with a 150km maximum baseline, located in South Africa; and a low-frequency radio telescope, consisting of one array of 131,072 smaller log-periodic antennas grouped in 512 stations, with up to 65km maximum baseline, located in Western Australia.

In the lead up to the SKA, many new groundbreaking radio astronomy facilities have sprung up around the world in the past 15 years. These facilities, known as SKA pathfinder and precursor telescopes, are part of a global effort to design and build ever-more sensitive instruments to provide further insights into the radio sky and grow new scientific and technical communities. These telescopes are allowing astronomers to develop improved techniques and explore new phenomena, as exemplified recently by exciting discoveries they’ve enabled.

In the year that marks the establishment of the SKA Observatory, as well as the start of SKA construction activities, we want to bring the focus to science, with the new and exciting results that are being produced by the SKA precursors and pathfinders and their implication for the SKA.  

The SKA Science conference 2021, “A precursor’s view of the SKA sky”, is a fully virtual event that has been designed to allow participation from all countries and timezones. The format of the meeting will include plenary talks organised by the SOC as well as splinter meetings organised by the SKA science working groups.

The breath of science and results will cover all areas of interest of our science working groups:

  • Cosmology
  • Cradle of Life
  • Epoch of reionization/ Cosmic Dawn
  • Extragalactic Continuum
  • Extragalactic spectral line
  • Gravitational waves
  • High energy cosmic particles
  • Hi galaxy science
  • Magnetism
  • Our Galaxy
  • Pulsars
  • Solar, Heliospheric & Ionospheric physics 
  • Transients
  • VLBI

(see the science working groups banners on this website under Resources for more details)