15 Feb 2012

Square Km Array decision likely in next two months

8:31 am on 15 February 2012

A global science body is in the final stages of deciding whether Australia and New Zealand should be awarded a $2.5 billion astronomy project.

The two countries are competing with an African consortium to host the Square Kilometre Array - a vast configuration of antennae, wired together to form an giant radio telescope.

Most of the 3000 dishes would be built in Western Australia, but about 80 would be in New Zealand.

The other proposal involves nine countries, led by South Africa.

Twenty countries support the Array project. Their representatives are due to receive a recommendation from an advisory group about where the array should be built and are expected to make a decision by early April.

Countries funding the array want to have it operational by 2020.