MWA telescope unveiled in West Australian outback

ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Aidan Byrne, has congratulated Curtin University on the launch of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope. The eight-year project, worked on by 13 institutions within Australia and internationally, will give researchers new information about how stars and galaxies in our Universe formed and has the potential to save the world billions of dollars providing an early warning in the event of solar storms.

Development of the $51 million telescope – located in the Murchison Shire over 600 km north of Perth – was supported by the ARC, and is a ground-breaking development in the field of astronomy.

Professor Byrne attended today's launch and said the ARC is proud to have supported such an important research project that will be a powerful instrument to further increase Australia's world class capabilities in radio astronomy.

"The MWA radio telescope will offer scientists, for the first-time, a view of the entire history of the Universe, including the little understood Epoch of Reionisation and variable radio sources in our sky such as pulsars," Professor Byrne said.

These main scientific goals are well aligned with other ARC-funded initiatives, in particular CAASTRO with our 'Evolving Universe' and 'Dynamic Universe' research themes that both depend heavily on new widefield data from the MWA.

MWA Director Professor Steven Tingay is also the CAASTRO node leader at Curtin University with carriage of the Centre's outreach program. He is joined on the MWA Executive Board by CAASTRO Director Professor Bryan Gaensler and Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt who also leads our 'Dark Universe' research theme.

"The ARC is proud to be supporting both the instrumentation and the science in this exciting field. Today is an important day for astronomy nationally and internationally," ARC CEO Aidan Byrne concluded.

For further information about the Murchison Widefield Array visit the MWA Telescope website or 'Like' MWA on Facebook.