One of the grand scientific projects of the 21st Century begins its construction phase on Monday, the BBC reports.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the largest radio telescope in the world when completed in 2028.
Split across South Africa and Australia, with a headquarters in the UK, the facility will address the biggest questions in astrophysics.
It will perform the most precise tests of Einstein’s theories, and even search for extra-terrestrials.
Delegations from the eight countries leading the project are attending ceremonies in the remote Murchison shire in Western Australia and in the Karoo of South Africa’s Northern Cape.
When the festivities are over, the bulldozers will move in.
“This is the moment it becomes real,” said Prof Phil Diamond, director general of the Square Kilometre Array Organization.