AFP News Agency shows that Russian scientists launch one of the world's biggest underwater space telescopes that will study the mysteries of the universe while floating in the so-called pristine waters of Lake Baikal.
Lake Baikal (Russian: озеро Байкал) is a rift lake located in southern Siberia, Russia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.
Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22 to 23% of the world's fresh surface water. With 23,615.39 km3 (5,670 cu mi) of fresh water, it contains more water than all of the North American Great Lakes combined. With a maximum depth of 1,642 m (5,387 ft), Baikal is the world's deepest lake. It is among the world's clearest lakes and is the world's oldest lake, at 25-30 million years old. It is certainly the 7th-largest lake in the world by surface area.
Russian scientists have deployed a giant telescope into the frigid depths of Lake Baikal in southern Siberia to search for the tiniest known particles in the universe. The telescope, Baikal-GVD, is designed to search for neutrinos, which are nearly massless subatomic particles with no electrical charge. Neutrinos seem to be everywhere, but they interact so weakly with the forces around them that they are very hard to detect.
A neutrino is a certain subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be "zero." Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe. Because they have very little interaction with matter, however, they seem to be incredibly difficult to detect.
Scientists are looking under Lake Baikal (1,700 meters deep). This lake is certainly the deepest lake on Earth. Neutrino detectors are typically built underground to shield them from so-called cosmic rays and other sources of interference.
The Baikal Gigaton Volume Detector (Baikal-GVD) deep underwater neutrino telescope being lowered beneath Lake Baikal in southern Siberia.
The scientists deployed the neutrino detector through the ice about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the lakeshore in the southern part of the lake on March 13, lowering modules made of string, glass spheres and stainless steel up to 4,300 feet (1,310 m) into the water.
This telescope is unusual. Most of the telescopes used by astronomers are known as ground-based, this means that they are located here on Earth at some of the best observing sites in the world. When a telescope is placed on the ground it has to look up through the Earth's atmosphere to see into space, and the atmosphere can really blur images.
A telescope is usually an optical instrument using lenses, curved mirrors, or a combination of both to observe distant objects, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation. The first known practical telescopes were refracting telescopes invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, by using glass lenses. They were used for both terrestrial applications and astronomy.