Future Nobel? Neutrinos Discovery Heralds 'New Era for Astronomy'

They were found at the South Pole, and they're out of this world

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2013 8:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Scientists at the South Pole have found visitors from outside our solar system, but instead of little green men, think "ghostly neutrino particles," in the words of Space.com. Twenty-eight of them to be exact, all detected by a special observatory called IceCube in Antarctica. Ars Technica has details on how the detector found the mind-bendingly small light particles, but suffice to say that physicists are very, very excited. Think "new era of astronomy" excited, says the LA Times, because the discovery could lead to new insights into mysterious phenomena in the universe such as cosmic rays.

"It is a major breakthrough," says a particle physicist at Germany's University of Erlangen-Nuremberg who wasn't involved with the research. "I think it is one of the absolute major discoveries in astro-particle physics." A physicist at UCLA, also not involved with the research, is even more gushing: "This is a landmark discovery—possibly a Nobel Prize in the making." So just where did the other-worldly neutrinos come from? Stay tuned. Red Orbit quotes a scientist who likens it to a long-exposure photo. The more neutrinos they detect over time, the clearer the image gets.

  (Shutterstock)
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