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Will the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) be finished on time?
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a proposed radio-telescope more than a 50 times more sensitive than the current record holder.
With receiving stations extending out to a distance of at least 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) from a concentrated central core, it would exploit radio astronomy's ability to provide the highest resolution images in all astronomy. The SKA would be built in the southern hemisphere, with cores in South Africa and Australia, where the view of the Milky Way Galaxy is the best and radio interference at its least.
As such it is a multinational effort with, as of this writing, 11 countries contributing.
The creation of the SKA is separated into two phases:
- Providing ~10% of the total collecting area at low and mid frequencies by 2023 (SKA1).
- Completion of the full array (SKA2) at low and mid frequencies by 2030.
These huge science project often face challenges on the political, administrative, and technological level; what is planned doesn’t necessarily get built.
Will the SKA be operational before 2031?
- Resolves positive when the Square Kilometre Array Observatory or successor organisation announces completion of the SKA (including SKA1 & SKA2).
- Resolves negative when the SKA (including SKA1 & SKA2) doesn’t open before 2031.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.