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2nd of May 2024
A map of the world showing participation of people and resources in SKA Science Data Challenge 3.
SKA Science Data Challenge 3
The latest issue of the SKA Observatory's magazine Contact includes an article on the third SKA Science Data Challenge. With 234 registered participants spread across 33 teams and 16 countries, this third challenge brought together astronomers, data scientists, software engineers and other specialists, demonstrating the enthusiasm and diversity intrinsic to the SKA science community. Twelve supercomputing centres around the world provided resources for participants to deploy their data processing pipelines, including SKA Regional Centre prototypes. The challenge Teams were tasked with analysing a 7.5 TB data set made up of layer upon layer of simulated astronomical data, going back billions of years through cosmic time, in order to extract one of the faintest signals in astronomy: the light from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR). This was the time when the Universe transitioned from the so-called dark ages to when the first stars and galaxies formed. In observations from Earth, the signal is obscured by everything in between us and it: the light from other galaxies and emission from within our own galaxy in the foreground. The teams had to work out how to most effectively remove this foreground emission in order to identify the EoR signal. This signal has not yet been detected with existing radio telescopes, but the SKA aims to change that! (Image/text credit: SKAO)

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