Russia is watching neutrinos on Lake Baikal
Russia is watching neutrinos on Lake Baikal

Russian scientists used one of the largest underwater space telescopes in the world to observe neutrinos and explore the universe in a deeper way through the pure waters of Lake Baikal.

The telescope, called Baikal-GVD, has been under construction since 2015. It is submerged between 750 and 1,300 meters deep and is located about 4 kilometers from the shore of the lake.

Detecting neutrinos (the smallest particles currently known) is very difficult, but water is an effective way to detect neutrinos.

These particles can travel long distances without interacting with any other form of matter, which makes them difficult to detect and study, but they can teach us a lot about the history of the universe.

A floating observatory consists of hundreds of spherical units made of glass and stainless steel that are attached to the ground by a set of cables.

These sensors currently occupy an area of ​​500 cubic meters and plan to add more sensors to extend the telescope to one cubic kilometer over time.

The scientist explained that these devices were carefully lowered into the frozen water through a rectangular hole in the ice.

Dmitry Naumov of the Unified Institute of Nuclear Energy stood on the frozen surface of the lake and said, "Under our feet is a half-cubic kilometer neutrino telescope.

He added that the Baikal telescope will compete with IceCube, a giant neutrino observatory buried under the ice of Antarctica, which is an American research station in Antarctica.

Russian scientists said: This telescope is the largest neutrino detector in the northern hemisphere, and Lake Baikal (the largest freshwater lake in the world) is an ideal choice for a floating observatory.

"Due to the depth of Lake Baikal, it is the only lake in which neutrino telescopes can be used," Per Shibunov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research told AFP.

He added: Fresh water is very important, and the transparency of water is very important, and the fact that there is an ice cover for a period of two to two and a half months is also important.

The telescope is the result of a collaboration between scientists from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia and Slovakia.

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