Russia launches giant space telescope at the bottom of Lake Baikal
This telescope, which had been under construction since 2015, was designed to observe neutrinos, the smallest particles known to scientists. Called Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector), it was placed about 4 km from the shores of Lake Baikal. This observatory consists of a series of lines comprising several optical modules. The optical modules scan the seabed plunged into abysmal darkness, on the lookout for neutrinos, phantom particles and wall passes that cross the Earth from the sky. The terrestrial globe stops all particles except neutrinos.
On Saturday, scientists observed the modules made of glass and steel being carefully lowered into the frozen water through a rectangular hole in the ice. The Baikal telescope will compete with the Ice Cube, a giant neutrino observatory buried under Antarctic ice at an American research station at the South Pole. Russian scientists claim their telescope is the largest neutrino detector in the northern hemisphere. According to them, Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world, is ideal for housing this observatory due to its depth.