Russian scientists launch telescope into Earth’s deepest lake


The neutrino telescope was dropped into the Russian lake over the weekend.

The neutrino telescope was dropped into the Russian lake over the weekend.
Photo: Alexei Kushnirenko TASS (fake images)

On Saturday, a team of Russian researchers threw a new telescope into the icy Lake Baikal, the deepest lake on Earth. It was not an accident; The instrument took the step to give scientists a better chance of detecting neutrinos, elusive subatomic particles that are extremely difficult to detect as they generally pass through matter without a trace.

It may seem counterintuitive trying to get a better view of space from almost a mile underwater. But yes you are looking for neutrinos that come from space instead of light, this location makes much more senI know. Neutrinos cut through the most common matter like butter:and when you get to the end of this sentence, hundreds of trillions of neutrinos will be Shooting through your body. When it travels through some means, such as water, however, particles can sometimes leave evidence of their existence.

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The upper part of Baikal-GVD.
Photo: Alexei Kushnirenko TASS via Getty Images (fake images)

Lake Baikal contains more water than all the Great Lakes put together, making it a prime spot to observe those pesky little particles. So the Russians, in collaboration with Czech, German, Polish and Slovak researchers dumped the neutrino sensor into the lake, about 2 miles from shore. (In Irkutsk, the lake is frozen over and is a destination for everyone from particle physicists to Instagram influencers.)

The Russian telescope is not the first to search for neutrinos in alien terrain; America has a detector nicknamed Ice Cube which is made up of one cubic kilometer of ice at the South Pole. This one also has a possibly less catchy name: the Baikal Gigaton volume detector, or Baikal-GVD for short.

Looking like a technological crystal ball, with its circuits visible through the transparent glass sphere, the telescope is set up to detect neutrinos from about a third of a mile away in any direction, or as far as the CN Tower in Toronto is high. Finally, Dmitry Naumov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research told AFP, that distance would double.

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Now the telescope is thousands of feet underwater.
Photo: Alexei Kushnirenko TASS via Getty Images (fake images)

“Of course, Lake Baikal is the only lake where a neutrino telescope can be deployed due to its depth,” Bair Shoibonov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research told AFP. “Fresh water is also important, the clarity of the water too. And the fact that there is an ice sheet for two, two and a half months is also very important. “

Scientists want to detect neutrinos for many reasons. On the one hand, learning more about the behavior of neutrinos could help us understand why is there more matter than antimatter In the universe.

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