Mid West (Western Australia) facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsMid West
Location of Mid West region in Western Australia
|Population||52,000 (2006 census)|
|• Density||0.1101/km2 (0.285/sq mi)|
|Area||472,336 km2 (182,369.9 sq mi)|
|Time zone||WST (UTC+8)|
The Mid West region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is a sparsely populated region extending from the west coast of Western Australia, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north and south of its administrative centre of Geraldton and inland to 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Wiluna in the Gibson Desert.
It has a total area of 472,336 square kilometres (182,370 sq mi), and a permanent population of about 52,000 people, more than half of those in Geraldton.
The western portion of this region was known earlier as "The Murchison" based on the river of the same name, and the similarly named goldfield.
Square Kilometre Array
Due to its relative isolation from radio-frequency interference, The Mid West region was selected to host one of two primary radiotelescope locations of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. When fully operational in 2024, this AU$2bn project will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio interferometer instrument; it will generate more data than the current global Internet traffic and be capable of surveying the sky more than ten thousand to a million times faster than what is possible today. The radiotelescope antennae and the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) are located near Boolardy, Western Australia, approximately 315 km northeast of Geraldton, with logistics and science support provided by CSIRO from their facilities in Geraldton. High-capacity optical fibre cables connect the SKA telescope to the MRO support facility in Geraldton and to the Pawsley Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia. Technology and innovation offshoots from the project are expected to generate new economic development opportunities and jobs growth for the region.
WA Space Centre
Located 40 km from Mingenew, (100 km SE of Geraldton) the WA Space Centre is an $8,000,000 114ha satellite park owned and operated by Space Australia, a subsidiary company of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). The park is located in one of several Radio Quiet Zones in Mid West Western Australia, making it an ideal location for radioastronomy.The SSC is the largest commercial operator of satellite tracking ground station facilities. The facilities include compounds operated by NASA, The European Space Agency, CSIRO, MOBLAS and VLBI, amongst others.
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