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31st of January 2023
Canada and the SKA
Last week, the Canadian Government announced Canada's intention to proceed to full membership in the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). Canada is currently has observer status at SKAO Council meetings, and full membership is expected to provide Canadian astronomers a 6% use-share of the observatory, access to a next-generation radio astronomy facility, and support the establishment of a domestic regional centre. The Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) will represent Canada in the governance of the SKAO and will work with domestic and international partners to deliver key observatory systems.

Canada has a long history of contributions to radio astronomy, with a number of parallels to Australia! These include solar radio astronomy in the 1940s, to the development of VLBI in the 1960s, participation in the VSOP space VLBI mission in the 1990s, planning for the SKA, and making significant contributions to Fast Radio Burst research in the 2010s. The telescope above is the Algonquin 46m dish, built in the early 1960s. It is no surprise that it bears a passing resemblance to the Parkes 64m, Murriyang, as both were designed by the engineering firm Freeman Fox!

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