Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

One of the world’s largest telescopes on Lake Baikal, Russia

One of the world’s largest telescopes on Lake Baikal

What a great news! Lake Baikal has been chosen to host one of the world’s largest telescopes. Russian scientists hope it will help unravel the mysteries of dark matter in the center of the Milky Way.

Six years from now, a giant telescope constructed inside the world’s deepest freshwater lake will peer into the depths of our universe to reveal – scientists hope – the mysteries of dark matter, a mysterious substance believed to account for 23% of the mass-energy density of the observable universe. For now, testing has just been completed on the optical modules used to build the device.

The telescope in Siberia will look into the very centre of our galaxy, where there is a massive black hole from which neutrinos, very tiny particles generated as a result of different atomic reactions in the dark matter of black holes that carry unique information, can reach Earth. It is believed that a large part of the universe is comprised of dark matter, but its existence has only been proven in theory. If Russian scientists manage to “catch” a piece of it, this would be one of the major breakthroughs in physics in the 21st century. While scientists have known about the existence of neutrinos since the 1930s, it is only relatively recently that they have been able to “catch” them. Russian physicist Pavel Cherenkov discovered that these particles emit a slight blue glow when they pass through water or ice. This is why a body of water was selected as the site of the future telescope.

Full story at Russia & India Report.

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