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Some of the dishes that make up the Square Kilometre Array’s radio telescope system. This kind of “blue skies” research can have great real-world value. MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19 budget pressures threaten curiosity-driven science. That’s a bad thing

The pandemic has underscored that the world requires agility for survival. That makes blue skies science, which encourages curiosity and nimble thinking, perhaps more important than ever.
The two giant radio galaxies found with the MeerKAT telescope. In the background is the sky as seen in optical light. Overlaid in red is the radio light from the enormous radio galaxies, as seen by MeerKAT. I. Heywood (Oxford/Rhodes/SARAO)

Discovery of two new giant radio galaxies offers fresh insights into the universe

Based on what we currently know about the density of giant radio galaxies in the sky, the probability of finding two of them in this region is extremely small.
Jets generated by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can transport huge amounts of energy across great distances. REUTERS/X-ray: NASA/CXC/Tokyo Institute of Technology/J.Kataoka et al

Radio galaxies: the mysterious, secretive “beasts” of the Universe

It’s difficult to get jets - powerful, lightning fast particles - to give up their secrets. The new Square Kilometre Array radio telescope could hold the key to solving jets’ mysteries.

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