What is Neutrino Astronomy? Farther south, in the southern hemisphere. Physicist Greg Sullivan proclaimed this last week that the Era of Neutrino Astronomy has begun. Turns out Greg Sullivan and his colleagues operate a new kind of futuristic-looking observatory in Antarctica called ICECUBE. And they reported this week that it had detected for the first time—exactly 28 particles. They say a solid evidence of high-energy cosmic neutrinos hitting Earth.
What are Neutrinos?
Neutrinos are elementary particles like electrons but with no charge and almost no mass. So, they can pass through and remain basically unaffected by everything. Including you—we're all constantly being bombarded by them. Most of them around here formed either in the Sun or in our own atmosphere. But the source of these super high energy cosmic neutrinos that come from billions of light-years away is more of a mystery.
The South Pole ICECUBE
ICECUBE, a South Pole Neutrino Observatory went online in 2011. With the express purpose of studying neutrinos by watching for the only trace they leave. Blue flashes known as Cherenkov light. But neutrinos only give off these light when they pass at incredible speeds to certain substances that they can polarize like, water. So, the scientists built a light detector around more than a cubic kilometer on Antarctic. The team says that their observations on the 28 neutrinos can be combined with future observations to trace the cosmic events that created them. Giving us all a better sense of the energy filled universe that we all living in.