Russian scientists on Saturday launched one of many world’s greatest underwater house telescopes to look deep into the universe from the pristine waters of Lake Baikal.
The deep underwater telescope, which has been below building since 2015, is designed to look at neutrinos, the smallest particles presently recognized.
Dubbed Baikal-GVD, the telescope was submerged to a depth of 750-1,300 meters (2,500-4,300 ft), round 4 kilometres from the lake’s shore.
Neutrinos are very laborious to detect and water is an efficient medium for doing so.
The floating observatory consists of strings with spherical glass and chrome steel modules connected to them.
On Saturday, scientists noticed the modules being rigorously lowered into the freezing waters by way of an oblong gap within the ice.
“A neutrino telescope measuring half a cubic kilometre is situated right under our feet,” Dmitry Naumov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research advised AFP whereas standing on the lake’s frozen floor.
In a number of years the telescope will likely be expanded to measure one cubic kilometre, Naumov mentioned.
The Baikal telescope will rival Ice Cube, a large neutrino observatory buried below the Antarctic ice at a US analysis station on the South Pole, he added.
Russian scientists say the telescope is the most important neutrino detector within the Northern Hemisphere and Lake Baikal — the most important freshwater lake on the earth — is right for housing the floating observatory.
“Of course, Lake Baikal is the only lake where you can deploy a neutrino telescope because of its depth,” Bair Shoibonov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research advised AFP.
“Fresh water is also important, water clarity too. And the fact that there is ice cover for two-two and a half months is also very important.”
The telescope is the results of a collaboration between scientists from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia and Slovakia.
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