From gamma rays to radio waves, we have always relied on light in our study of the universe. But there are other ways to explore, such as gravitational waves and neutrinos. Neutrinos, called “ghost particles,” are particularly interesting because they pass through everything without interacting with matter. It was these neutrinos that allowed scientists to create the first map of the Milky Way, breaking new ground in neutrino astronomy.
Neutrinos are elementary particles that have mass but no charge and hardly interact with other particles. They pass through us and everything around us, passing through the Earth and even the Sun. In fact, about 100 trillion neutrinos pass through our bodies every second without causing any noticeable effects.
Most neutrinos come from the Sun, but they are also produced in many other astrophysical processes. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located in Antarctica, has previously detected neutrinos from other galaxies. But now scientists have been able to compile the first map of the Milky Way based on neutrino emission.
To detect these elusive particles, the IceCube collaboration has placed thousands of detectors inside an Antarctic glacier. When neutrinos interact with ice, they leave traces that can be traced back to their source. Using machine-learning algorithms, the scientists were able to identify more than 60,000 neutrino events and show that they come from different regions of the Milky Way.
This discovery is a milestone in neutrino astronomy. The map of the Milky Way, based on neutrino emissions, provides scientists with new insights into our galaxy and its processes. It also opens the door to further research and a better understanding of the nature of neutrinos and their role in the universe.
Neutrinos are not only interesting particles, but also a powerful tool for studying the universe. They can help us unlock the mysteries of distant galaxies and understand the fundamental laws of nature. Research in neutrino astronomy continues, and it promises to bring even more exciting discoveries.