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Antarctica’s IceCube Neutrino Observatory

July 13, 2012 at 6:00pm | by Steven

The IceCube telescope is a cubic kilometer in size, and it's located near the South Pole in order to give its detectors an unimpeded view of elusive neutrinos. Even then, it's not the neutrinos that the IceCube's 5,160 optical modules are straining to detect - rather, it's energetic muons created as a byproduct of the passing neutrinos that causes the faint blue flashes in the massive detector array.

[Alasdair Wilkins via IO9]  The IceCube telescope is a cubic kilometer in size, and it’s located near the South Pole in order to give its detectors an unimpeded view of elusive neutrinos. Even then, it’s not the neutrinos that the IceCube’s 5,160 optical modules are straining to detect – rather, it’s energetic muons created as a byproduct of the passing neutrinos that causes the faint blue flashes in the massive detector array.

So far, IceCube has mostly done a good job of illustrating what we don’t know about the universe. As University of Wisconsin researcher Nathan Whitehorn explains, the telescope was able to conclusively contradict 15 years worth of previous predictions while still under construction, and now it’s pretty much demolished one of the leading theories of extra-galactic physics.

Photo by Sven Lidstrom

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