Weather in Space


If neutrinos are so elusive, how do scientists observe them striking Earth?

It is possible to detect neutrinos from space by their very rare interactions with matter here on Earth, but not with conventional telescopes. The first effective neutrino detector was set up in 1967 deep underground in the Homestake Gold Mine near Lead, South Dakota. There, the American scientists Ray Davis, Jr. (1914-) and John Bahcall (1934–2005) set up a tank filled with 100,000 gallons of nearly pure perchlorate (used as dry-cleaning fluid), and monitored the liquid for very rare neutrino interaction events. Other experiments have since used other substances, such as pure water, for neutrino detections.


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