Europe will lose one of the largest radio telescopes.. / January 21, 2010 /
Because of financial problems in Italy, Europe could lose one of the largest ground-based telescopes, reports the Italian news agency ANSA. Reducing the countrys budget did not allow astronomers to use radio telescope in Sardinia.
One of the organizations, oversees the installation and operation of the telescope, is the National Institute of Astrophysics. It is expected that in the future budget of the Institute will be reduced by 5 percent, and scientists will have to choose between the completion of construction of new telescopes and other projects that require financial outlay. However, about 95 percent of allocated funds, the Institute will have to spend to ensure current needs, but on the research projects will be only 5 per cent.
According to some employees of the Institute, the policy will lead "to transform Italy into a third world country. Last year, the National Institute of Astrophysics came in first place in the world on the dynamics of growth of scientific publications. If a radio telescope in Sardinia will not work, then the institution with high probability will be deprived of the conquered positions.
On the establishment of a telescope with a diameter primary mirror 64 meters already spent 67 million euros. It was planned that its construction would be completed in 2010. With the new telescope, scientists hoped to study objects that were deleted from the Earth at a distance up to 13 billion light years. Together with two other Italian telescopes in Sicily and in the city of Ferrara telescope in Sardinia was to be a part of one of Europes largest networks of radio telescopes.
At present, Europe has a number of «a plate» telescopes, whose dimensions are comparable to the size of the Italian telescope. Thus, the diameter of a telescope mirror in Effelsberg is 100 meters, and the telescope in the British-Jodrell Bank Observatory is equipped with 76-meter mirror. Next to Russia on the Volga River city Kalyazin installed a telescope with a mirror diameter of 64 meters.
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