Thousands of feet below the surface of the world's deepest lake, a massive space telescope has been submerged.


(Anton Petrus/Getty Images)

From the pristine waters of Lake Baikal, Russian scientists launched one of the world's largest underwater space telescopes on Saturday to look deep into the Universe.

The deep underwater telescope, which has been in the works since 2015, will be used to study neutrinos, the tiniest particles detected.

Around four kilometers from the lake's shore, the Baikal-GVD telescope was submerged to a depth of 750-1,300 meters (2,500-4,300 feet).

Water is an important tool for detecting neutrinos, which are exceedingly difficult to detect.

The Baikal-GVD is lowered into the water for the first time. (Sputnik/Kirill Shipitsin) Sputnik/AFP/Kirill Shipitsin)

The spherical glass and stainless steel modules that make up the floating observatory are connected by strings.

The modules were cautiously lowered into the freezing waters through a rectangular hole in the ice on Saturday, according to scientists.

While standing on the frozen surface of the lake, Dmitry Naumov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Science told AFP that a half-kilometer neutrino telescope is right under our feet.

The telescope will be enlarged in a few years to measure one cubic kilometer, according to Naumov.

According to him, the Baikal telescope would compete with Ice Cube, a massive neutrino observatory hidden underneath the Antarctic ice at a US research station at the South Pole.

(Russian Institute for Nuclear Research/AFP/Bair Shaibonov)

The telescope is the Northern Hemisphere's largest neutrino detector, and Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake, is an ideal site for the floating observatory.

Because of its depth, Lake Baikal is the only lake where a neutrino telescope can be deployed, according to Bair Shoibonov of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

Water clarity is also essential, as is the availability of fresh water. Also crucial is the fact that there is ice cover for two to two and a half months.

Scientists from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia collaborated to create the telescope.

Originally Published By Science Alert.

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