In a milestone for African astronomy, engineers have converted an old telecommunications dish in Ghana into the continent’s first functioning radio telescope outside South Africa.
Africa is steadily growing and many countries have over the years launched its own satellites.
Now African Astrophysicists and Astronomers have access to a new telescope in Ghana. The radio observatory telescope will help Ghana gather data from space. The project took 5years to complete and was made from a telecommunication disc.
Testing has already begun to observe the Sky. South African Department of International Relations has been involved in the project since its start. They fund the initiative to build the network of telescopes for space exploration.
Not only is Ghana looking to explore space, but also to use this data to improve the weather forecast predictions. This will warn of dangers of earthquakes, storms and also inform farmers about the weather conditions. The automated climate change monitoring weather station is being installed in the facility.
The telescope is situated in Kuntunse near Accra and it is the first of an array of such instruments expected to be built across Africa over the next five years. The 32-meter wide (104-foot) radio telescope, converted from an old telecommunications dish, forms the heart of the observatory, which is in Kuntunse, about an hour from the capital Accra.
This radio telescope forms part of long-term plans to develop the skills of astronomers on the continent in the observatory. It made its first observations this year and will be formally opened later in 2017. This observatory is gathering skilled technicians, mathematicians, statisticians around the world to ensure the success of this project.