Tag Archives: solar neutrinos

A Review of Neutrino Astronomy

In a white paper released earlier this week, available online here, Italian astronomers provide an historical overview of neutrino astronomy and the future observations within the field that may help the community understand a diversity of astrophysical phenomena from the Sun to supernovae. As the authors put it, they “describe the perspectives of neutrino astronomy by discussing expectations and pending problems regarding some of the best known sources of neutrinos.”

Solar Neutrino Search Yields Null Result

Often scientists spend time trying to validate some hypothesis and the results don’t support the hypothesis. This is part of the scientific process. In a paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, a large team of astronomers searched for expected fluctuations in the solar neutrino count at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and did not find any such fluctuations. Although a null result, it is important to understand that this null result is a major contribution to the understanding of the workings of the Sun. Read more about the neutrino astronomy experiments here.

Continuing the Search for Neutrinos

In a very readable review of neutrino astronomy, available online here, Dr. Gary Hill of the University of Wisconsin (Madison), released today a transcript of his talk given at a conference in Melbourne, Australia. Here you will find a brief description of the latest neutrino detectors being deployed around the world from the south pole to Siberia. Dr. Hill begins his review with a overview of the reasons that astronomers have found neutrino detectors so useful in the study of celestial events from supernovae to the Sun itself. It’s been estimated that if you could evenly distribute all the neutrinos in the universe, you would have about 330 neutrinos in every cubic centimeter. That’s about 100 million times the number of protons in the universe. They may be small, but they are numerous, and neutrinos may help us comprehend phenomena like the fusion in the Sun and the nature of dark matter.

Did You Know? (1)

Did you know that the neutrino is a fundamental particle produced by hydrogen fusion in the core of stars? In fact, it is estimated that the Earth receives from our Sun about 40 billion neutrinos per second per square centimeter. If you think that sounds like a large amount, it is estimated that about 100 times that amount are passing through you and me right now, and that the origin of these neutrinos is from the “big bang” origin of the universe itself. If you do the math, you should estimate that there would be about 330 neutrinos in every cubic centimeter of the universe, if all of the neutrinos were spread out evenly in our universe. Learn more about neutrinos online at http://www-donut.fnal.gov/web_pages/neutrinospg/Neutrinos.html Learn more about solar neutrinos online at http://www.chemistry.bnl.gov/SciandTech/SN/default.htm