June 16, 2024
Welcome back! The answer to the last blogs question was that mass of the boxes stacked on top of the other on the scale was greater as the box on top had more G.P.E (gravitational potential energy).
Milky Way is one of the few known galaxies, each galaxy are more than 2.5 million light years away. Andromeda being the closest to our Milky Way is 2.5 million light years away, and that’s not close for me, not at all! And stars are even further! So how do we see these cosmic bodies if we can’t even see what is a few kilometres away from us?

Most of us might be knowing the answer – by TELESCOPES. A telescope is an instrument designed to collect electromagnetic radiation (light) for the observation of remote objects.  The word “telescope” comes from the Greek words tele=far and skopein=to look or see. Today the word telescope can refer to a whole range of instruments operating in most regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, from the longest radio waves to the shortest gamma rays.  They have been placed in the middle of deserts, the top of mountains, and even at the South Pole to better see the sky.  The Hubble Space Telescope is just one of many that have been placed in outer space and there are even a few “neutrino telescopes” that are built underground.

Neutrino telescopes – sounds intriguing.

 The recent discovery of Neutrino particles bombarding Earth in November, by a team of scientists from the giant IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, announced the discovery of cosmic neutrinos. Neutrinos are produced when cosmic rays interact with their surroundings, yielding particles with no electrical charge and negligible mass. Scientists have wondered about the source of cosmic rays since they were discovered, and finding cosmic neutrinos could provide clues about the origin of the mysterious rays.
 
Neutrino Telescope

Neutrinos, travelling at the speed of light in straight lines, can be called “social misfits” in the particle world as they rarely interact with matter. Produced by one of the most lethal, yet unknown, events in the universe which reveal possible sources for these ghostly particles – like supernovas, active galactic nuclei and black holes. Until lately, scientists had only detected neutrinos beyond Earth from the sun or from a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud in 1987. No neutrinos from distant cosmic sources had been seen but in April 2012, IceCube recorded two neutrinos with extremely high energies that could only have come from a high-energy source outside the solar system. After looking deeper into the data, scientists found a total of 28 high-energy neutrinos with energies greater than 30 teraelectronvolts (TeV).

The finding opens the door to a new kind of astronomy that would “image” the sky in the light of neutrinos, rather than photons. As each time we discover a new method of making a picture of the sky (for example – by using gamma rays, X-rays, radio waves) we have always been able to see things we never saw before.

Scientists are constantly coming up with new and ingenious ways to study neutrinos from space. Neutrino telescopes like Super-Kamiokande in Japan use huge vats of water to detect neutrinos.

Super-Kamiokande
Huge amounts of water used to detect Neutrinos.
The inside of the tank is lined with 11,146 photo-multiplier tubes that detect Cherenkov light. Cherenkov light is emitted by the neutrinos as they pass through the water at near the speed of light.Therefore the detector detects the effect of the neutrinos interacting with the water and not the neutrinos themselves. Telescopes like the Super-Kamiokande are deep underground in order to avoid detecting other particles from cosmic rays. The Homestake telescope uses Chlorine 37 coming from Argon and the Gallex telescope uses Germanium 71 coming from Gallium as the medium to detect neutrinos instead of water.
Cherenkov Light
Currently, scientists are building a better neutrino telescope by using the clear polar ice as a medium by which to detect the neutrinos. IceCube neutrino detector is a one-cubic-kilometre new neutrino telescope being built in the South Pole. It will be an array of 80 strings, each string having 60 optical modules that are designed to detect the Cherenkov light emitted from muons, which are a by-product of the neutrinos interacting with the ice. Scientists are building this new telescope under the South Pole because it allows them to make it incredibly large, to have a very stable place for the detectors, to keep a stable temperature, and to build it deep enough to avoid interference from cosmic rays.
IceCube Neutrino Detector
IceCube detector.
The arctic ice also makes a good medium because it is pure, transparent, and free from radioactivity. Scientists hope that by building IceCube they will be able to learn more about far away neutrino sources like gamma ray bursts, supernova, black holes and maybe even dark matter.
Any doubts or questions you would want me to tell or right about in the next blog, please feel free to write it down in the comments section below.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

However Difficult Life May Seem, There Is Something You Can Do And Succeed At.

~ Stephan Hawking

0 thoughts on “The New Era Of Astronomy

  1. Dirgh i appreciate your vision , thoughts and approach to understand meticulos of the universe … indeed you an a intelligent soul with versatile personality…. bhavik k shah

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