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Founder nations hail mega-telescope milestone

Researchers and politicians planning the construction of one of the world’s largest pieces of scientific equipment have hailed the signing by seven nations of a treaty securing its future.

The Square Kilometre Array, a global effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, has until now been run as a not-for-profit company.

But with the governments of Australia, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the UK signing the SKA convention in Rome on 12 March, it is now a fully fledged intergovernmental body, placing it on a par with facilities such as the Cern nuclear research lab near Geneva. Construction is due to begin in 2020.

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