January 18, 2022

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Two of the most powerful neutrino detectors picked up a batch from the same blazar

Two of the most powerful neutrino detectors picked up a batch from the same blazar

| Astronomy / Physics

Scientists from the IceCube Antarctic Neutrino Observatory reported Recording a neutrino with an energy of 172 MeV three weeks ago. Four hours later, the Baikal-GDV telescope, located in the waters of Lake Baikal, recorded neutrinos with an energy of 43 TeV coming from the same direction. For comparison, it is worth knowing that the maximum energy of the accelerating particles in the Large Hadron Collider is 7 MeV.

Both recorded cases are noteworthy, as the arrival of neutrinos is one of the brightest of the radio bands, PKS 0735 + 17. It is therefore likely the source of the neutrinos.

Blazar is a special type of active galaxy with a supermassive black hole in the center surrounded by an accretion disk. Two opposing jets emanating from the crater are moving at relative speeds (close to the speed of light). This relative jet emission dominates over blazar radiation. From Earth’s position, blazar jets are observed at a slight angle, so most of the radiation we can record comes from a single jet directed at us.

Blazar PKS 0735 + 17 sent in our direction the strongest recorded bursts of gamma and visible radiation. This is only the second time in IceCube’s history that this observatory has recorded a neutrino and a strong glow. Moreover, this is the first time that two of the world’s largest neutrino observatories, IceCube in the Southern Hemisphere and Baikal-GVD in the Northern Hemisphere, have observed a neutrino possibly from the same source.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has been in operation since 2010, and is located at the Amundsen-Scott South Station in Antarctica. The main part of the observatory is a detector built into ice at a depth of 1450-2450 meters, with a total volume of more than 1 cubic kilometer.

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Baikal-GVD is supposed to be approx. The device has been under construction since 2016, and in March 2021 the first stage of its construction was completed. The volume of the detector is currently approximately half a cubic kilometer. In the end, it should be twice as large. The detectors are involved in the construction of this, among others, scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

IceCube Baikal-GDV . Neutrino