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World's largest telescope to be completed in 2011 in Antarctica

© RIA Novosti . Alexandr Solovskiy Antarctica
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The construction of the world's largest neutrino telescope, worth $271 million, will be completed in 2011, the Russian federal space agency said on its website on Thursday.

The construction of the world's largest neutrino telescope, worth $271 million, will be completed in 2011, the Russian federal space agency said on its website on Thursday.

"The telescope's size exceeds the overall height of the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Shanghai World Financial Center," Roscosmos said.

The project's purpose is not to study the stars, but the Earth's depths.

The IceCube telescope designed by researchers and engineers from the University of Wisconsin and sponsored by the National Science Foundation will be inserted into melted ice near the South Pole.

The telescope will be looking for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources, such as star explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.

Neutrinos are the smallest known subatomic particles, which became a subject of research in the 1950s. Neutrinos travel at near the speed of light and are so tiny that they can usually pass through solid matter without colliding with atoms.

The IceCube telescope will be equipped with some 5,000 Digital Optical Modules buried under the ice at depths of 1.4-2.5 km.

The modules will transmit experimental data for 25 years.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) 

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