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Title: Gravitational bending of light by planetary multipoles and its measurement with microarcsecond astronomical interferometers
Authors: Sergei Kopeikin (University of Missouri-Columbia), Valery Makarov (Michelson Space Center, CalTech)

General relativistic deflection of light by mass, dipole, and quadrupole moments of gravitational field of a moving massive planet in the Solar system is derived. All terms of order 1 microarcsecond are taken into account, parameterised, and classified in accordance with their physical origin. We calculate the instantaneous patterns of the light-ray deflections caused by the monopole, the dipole and the quadrupole moments, and derive equations describing apparent motion of the deflected position of the star in the sky plane as the impact parameter of the light ray with respect to the planet changes due to its orbital motion. The present paper gives the physical interpretation of the observed light-ray deflections and discusses the observational capabilities of the near-future optical (SIM) and radio (SKA) interferometers for detecting the Doppler modulation of the radial deflection, and the dipolar and quadrupolar light-ray bendings by the Jupiter and the Saturn.

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Western Australia may be the base for an international radio telescope project.
Western Australia is poised to unlock the secrets of the universe after a cattle station near Meekatharra was short-listed to house a $1.9 billion radio telescope to examine the Big Bang.
The State beat bids by China and Argentina/Brazil and must defeat a bid by South Africa to win the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

Success would see 10,000 antennas grouped around Mileura to listen for faint cosmic radio signals coming from the edges of the universe dating back to when time began.
Western Australia’s access to southern skies, combined with low population density and lack of man-made radio noise that could interfere with cosmic radio waves has put the State in a winning position.
South Africa is bidding to house the SKA in the Northern Cape region, similar in appearance to Mileura. The SKA is being designed and constructed by astronomers and engineers from 17 countries.

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Australia or South Africa will get to host one of the great scientific projects of the 21st Century.

The countries have been shortlisted to be the home of the 1bn-euro-plus Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a giant next-generation radio telescope.
The SKA's huge fields of antennas will sweep the sky for answers to the major outstanding questions in astronomy.
They will probe the early Universe, test Einstein's theory of gravity and even search for alien intelligent life.
The steering committee tasked with pushing the project forward has now settled on the two prime locations where the exacting technical demands of the telescope could be met.

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Australia and Southern Africa have been short-listed as the countries to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a giant next-generation radio telescope being developed by scientists in 17 countries. The decision was made by the International SKA Steering Committee, following advice from an external committee of 7 scientists from 5 countries that examined the four site bids.

www.ska.ac.za

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A NASA expert on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence will be giving a free public lecture at Auckland University of Technology University next week (Friday July 7).

Dr Jill Tarter, the director of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute of NASA will speak on the 'Search for extraterrestrial intelligence: pulling signals out of the cosmic noise.'
The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
Dr Tarter will be visiting AUT University which is currently working to become part of the world's biggest telescope projects ever, the Square Kilometre Array.

The Square Kilometre Array project will create a telescope (effectively thousands of linked telescopes including two sited in New Zealand) that is 50 times more sensitive than anything that exists now and can survey the sky up to 10,000 times faster.
This will allow for tests of whether there is extraterrestrial intelligence and will be sensitive enough to search for signals no stronger than those generated for television.

Auckland University of Technology's Professor Sergei Gulayaev, the director of the Centre for Radiophysics and Space Research, is leading New Zealand in this project.
Dr Tarter has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace, two Public Service Medals from NASA and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, she was selected by TIME magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential and powerful people. Her work was used as the basis of the 1997 blockbuster film Contact .

The lecture will take place at 4pm on Friday July 7th at WA220 lecture theatre, AUT University, 55 Wellesley Street, Auckland.

Press Release: Auckland University of Technology

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South Africa is bidding to host the world's biggest radio-telescope, which will allow astronomers to see back in time to soon after the 'Big Bang' explosion that created the universe. This is the Square Kilometre Array - a R8.5 billion project that could be sited in the Great Karoo near Carnarvon, and near to the home to the SALT telescope.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will become the world's largest radio-telescope, allowing astronomers to see back in time to soon after the "Big Bang" that began the universe around 14 billion years ago, and to examine how stars and galaxies first formed and how they and the universe have evolved since then. The radio telescope that will be 100 times as sensitive as the best present-day instruments.
Work on the south African project, which is one of a pair of so-called "1% telescopes" which form the first phase of SKA - the other is the Extended New Technology Demonstrator in Australia - is already under way.
A team of about 30 of South Africa's engineers and software designers, based in a Pinelands office block, is working on the project, with a prototype 15m parabolic dish antenna being built by a Pretoria company.
The two 1% telescopes will start observations in 2010, and will be followed by the building of the 10% SKA Pathfinder between 2010 and 2014, using lessons learned from the 1% telescopes.

Construction of the full SKA array will only start in 2014 and it should be fully operational by 2020.
The SKA will consist of 2 500 dish antennae, each between 12m and 15m in diameter, at its core site, and another 2 000 at remote stations as much as 3 000km or even further away.

Blouputs farm, an isolated 3 800ha sheep farm deep in the heart of the Great Karoo, 94km west of Carnarvon is the preferred site in South Africa's bid to build the SKA.
South Africa is one of four nations bidding to host the array, an international project funded by the European Union, the United States, China and a number of other countries.
The other contenders seeking to be awarded the host site are Australia, Argentina and China.

http://www.skatelescope.org/

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