The biggest telescope ever built will be hosted in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, according to a decision taken on Friday.
The Square Kilometre Array is a plan backed by 20 countries to create a communications instrument that 50 times more sensitive than anything currently developed.
With a budget of 1.5 billion euros, scientists hope to have it operational by 2019 and fully functioning five years later.
Jon Womersley is from the SKA Organisation said: “One of the most surprising discoveries of the last decade has been that 95 percent of the universe – 19/20th of the universe – is not made of atoms, not made of stuff in the periodic table like you and me but made of things we don’t understand at all call dark matter and dark energy and we really don’t know where that came from.
“We don’t have any theory that describes that. It’s a key pressing problem for modern physics and this is an instrument that can make major progress in understanding those questions.”
The team behind the venture say the telescope will be made up of 3,000 dishes and will rely on computer technology that does not yet exist to process the flood of data it will collect.