Public Star Night 20 September 2019 – Dayton Jones – The Square Kilometer Array – An Update

For over twenty years the international radio astronomy community has been developing the technology and designs for a revolutionary new research instrument, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).  The SKA will be the next-generation facility for radio astronomy, offering a tremendous increase in sensitivity and flexibility over any existing radio facility in the world.  These new capabilities will help answer some of the most fundamental questions in astrophysics, including the formation of nearby planetary systems, tests of gravitational theories in the strong-field limit, and the long-term evolution and fate of our universe. The United States is not a formal partner in the SKA, but is proposing a US-based array called the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA).  This facility will cover higher frequencies than the SKA, and thus will provide complementary scientific capabilities.  Together, these arrays will provide an unprecedented leap in observational capabilities.This talk will summarize the current status of the SKA and ngVLA, and some of the innovative technology developments underway.

Dayton Jones worked at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for over thirty years, retiring as a Principal Scientist and moving to Colorado last year.  He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder.  His research interests have focused on high-resolution imaging and position measurements of distant radio sources using interferometry.  He has served as an officer of the US SKA Consortium and a US representative to the international SKA Science and Engineering Council.

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through our large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month, except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance. If you have any questions, please call the observatory info line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at

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