Russia has one of the largest neutrino telescopes in the world: it has submerged it in the depths of Lake Baikal
Last Saturday, March 13, a group of scientists plunged into the depths of the frozen Lake Baikal one of the most important telescopes in the world. Important first for what it detects, second for its size and third for its location. The Baikal-GVD now has a mission: to detect the elusive neutrinos.
The Baikal-GVD telescope is a neutrino detector that will be in charge of studying this peculiar particle of the Universe. Baikal-GVD is the largest deep-sea neutrino telescope in the northern hemisphere, officials said. One of the few who rivals him is America’s Ice Cube which is installed in Antarctica.
Although the Baikal-GVD is located in Russia and has been installed by Russian scientists, it is a joint project of Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It has been developing since 2015 and has finally been submerged to a depth that varies between 750 and 1,000 meters underwater. It is located four kilometers from the shore of the lake and has been possible thanks to the fact that the lake is currently frozen.
The telescope is made up of different glass modules joined by ropes. In total, it makes up a space of half a cubic kilometer and it is expected that in the future it will measure up to one cubic kilometer. They say that Lake Baikal, which is the largest freshwater lake in the world, is ideal to host such an observatory.
1,000 meters underwater to observe the Universe
Neutrinos are one of the lightest and smallest particles we know of. With a mass one billion times less than that of the lightest atoms, they are practically impossible to detect because they hardly interact with the rest of the elements.
How to detect such an elusive particle? Seeing how it alters an extremely calm environment and packed with detectors. Is what it does the Japanese Super-Kamiokande, a swimming pool one kilometer underground with 50 tons of water. This is what Baikal-GVD also seeks to do in the calm waters of the depths of Lake Baikal.
Via | Phys