The cradle of life and the SKA
Paper i proceeding, 2014

We provide an overview of the exciting capabilities of the SKA in the Cradle of Life theme. With the deployment of the high frequency band 5 receivers, the phase 1 of the SKA can conduct headline science in the study of the earliest stages of grain growth in proto-planetary disks. SKA1-MID can map the 2 cm continuum emission at a resolution of 4 au in the nearest systems and therefore begin to probe the distribuion of cm-sized particles across the snow line. This frequency range will also enable deep searches for pre-biotic molecules such as amino acids from pre-stellar cores to the cold, outer regions of proto-planetary disks where cometary material forms. The lowest frequency capabilities of SKA1 can be used to examine the magnetic fields of exo-planets via their auroral radio emission. This gives unique insight into their interiors and could potentially detect exo-moons. Across the full frequency range, the SKA1 will also carry out systematic, volume-limited searches of exo-planet systems for signals from technologically advanced civilizations. The sensitivity of SKA1 means that these only need to be at the level of typical airport radar signals in the nearest systems. Hence, the SKA1 can conduct high impact science from the first steps on the road to planets and life, through areas affecting the habitability of planets, and ultimately, to whether we are alone in the Galaxy. These inspirational themes will greatly help in the effort to bring SKA1 science to a wide audience and to ensure the progression to the full SKA.


M. G. Hoare

University of Leeds

L. Perez

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

T. L. Bourke

Jodrell Bank Observatory

L. Testi

European Southern Observatory

Excellence Cluster Universe

Osservatorio Astrofisico Di Arcetri

I. Jimenez-Serra

European Southern Observatory

University College London (UCL)

P. Zarka

LESIA - Laboratoire d'Etudes Spatiales et d'Instrumentation en Astrophysique

A. Siemion

Radboud University Nijmegen

UC Berkeley


H. J. V. Langevelde

Leiden University


L. Loinard

Centro de Radioastronomía Astrofísica (CRyA-UNAM)

G. Anglada

CSIC - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

A. Belloche


Per Bergman

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

Roy Booth

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap

P. Caselli


C. J. Chandler

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. Codella

Osservatorio Astrofisico Di Arcetri

G. Hallinan

California Institute of Technology

J. Lazio

California Institute of Technology

I. S. Morrison

Swinburne University of Technology

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

L. Podio

Osservatorio Astrofisico Di Arcetri

A. Remijan

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. Tarter

SETI Institute

Proceedings of Science - Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array, AASKA 2014, Giardini Naxos, Italy, 9-13 June 2014

1824-8039 (eISSN)


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi