Are we alone in the Universe? A question that has been asked and thought by nearly every person on Planet Earth. It’s a subject that scientist have been trying to solve for decades, some even believe that we won’t know until way into the future, but, the answer to that question could come sooner that you think.

Introducing the world’s largest radio telescope, The Square Kilometre Array (SKA). This particular telescope could find the answers to some of science’s most prominent questions including, how the early galaxies formed and  helping us understand black holes. It could even allow us to determine whether or not we are in fact alone in this vast universe.

In November 2011, the SKA project was formed. Beginning as a collaboration of independent countries it was subsequently changed to a Non-Profit Company, involving as many as 10 different countries from around the globe such as: South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, India, Canada, China, Italy, and The Netherlands, with Germany also indicating its interest in joining the SKA Project. England of course is also another heavily involved country with the headquarters based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Manchester.

Having an effective size of over 3,000km, the SKA will spread across two continents. Once completed a massive 2,500 radio dishes and over a million aerials will be placed between Western South Africa and West Australia, specifically in the desert regions. The telescope will be so sensitive that it will be able to detect any radio signals from any planets that surround the hundreds of nearby stars, hence the reasoning for placing everything in the desert.

This however is only a small piece of what the £1.3billion project was created to do. It will further test Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, aiming to see whether Einstein was indeed correct in his description of gravity, time and space, or whether a new theory will be needed to explain this phenomena, one that could in fact depict the early moments after the Big Bang and give us the answers to the continuously asked questions about the origin of the Universe. Extending the range of the observable Universe, it could ultimately study the early distribution of gas, and be able to see how the Universe began to gradually light up as its stars and galaxies began to form and eventually evolve, effectively transforming our understanding of the Universe.