Ice observatory goes online

Engineers used an enhanced hot-water drill to bore through 2 km of ice every two days.
Date:1 May 2011 Tags:,

Scientists from 10 countries are celebrating the completion of their massive, R1,9 billion IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located beneath nearly 1,6 km of ice at the South Pole Station in Antarctica. Led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the National Science Foundation-funded team drilled 86 holes in the ice. They then lowered a string with 60 sensors into each hole to detect rare collisions between neutrinos from the farthest reaches of space and water molecules locked in the ultra-transparent polar ice. The researchers hope to learn more about the black holes and neutron stars where some of the neutrinos originated and also search for hints of elusive dark matter. – Alex Hutchinson

Video: Watch how the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was contructed.

News: Construction of the world's largest neutrino observatory completed.