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article imageANTARES The Future Telescope

By KJ Mullins     Jul 16, 2007 in Technology
The Antares is a Cherenkov detector being built in the Mediterranean Sea. The name means Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch. When completed ANTARES will observe the universe by looking through the Earth.
When it is up and functioning it will display high energy neutrinos that will revolutionize the way we view the universe. The main goal of the experimental telescope is to observe active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. There are hopes that it may educate us on how ultra-high-energy cosmic rays form. Non-baryonic dark matter (WIMPs) should also be able to be studied more thoroughly.
Much of what we know of the universe comes from the photos that have been taken and studied. Unfortuanetly hot, dense regions which form the central engines of stars, active galactic nuclei and other astrophysical energy sources are unable to be captured using current methods. The new probe being built in the sea is a probe which is electrically neutral, that said, it should be able to capture the energies on a photo so we can learn more about the entire core of the universe.
Astrophysical sources of high-energy neutrinos have not actually been observed, but the are inferred by properties of cosmic rays.
There are two confirmed astrophysical neutrino sources; the Sun and the supernovae. Neither of these can be tracked by ANTARES. There still are a number candidate astrophysical sources of high-energy neutrinos which would be detected by ANTARES. There are hopes that ANTARES will be able to view the sources in this galaxy and beyond.
ANTARES will use water instead of ice as its Cherenkov medium. That should provide a better resolving power.
If all goes well the project should be able to produce a map of the neutrino flux from cosmic origins in the southern hemisphere. This of course will take several years once the probe is up and running.
ANTARES is a collaboration between particle physics laboratories, sea scientists, astronomers and astrophysicists.
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