Context: ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna or ANITA has made some startling discoveries which is indicative of a possible parallel universe.

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  • It has suddenly come into the limelight as the cosmic-ray shower that is key to the new discovery was a part of NASA's ANITA and IceCube experiment taking place in Antarctica. 

About ANITA:

  • It is an experiment that is maintained by NASA. 
  • It involves an array of radio antennas attached to a helium balloon which flies over the Antarctic ice sheet at 37,000 meters i.e in the stratosphere.
    • The height is important here to shut out all other "noises" so that the ANITA antennas can "listen" to the cosmos and detect high-energy particles, known as neutrinos, which constantly bombard the planet. 
  • This balloon is designed to detect cosmic-ray air showers through radio-wave signals.
  • These signals were detected to have been bouncing off the ice and were to be tracked as they were on their way down or back up after the bounce off the ice shelf. 


  • Scientists were intrigued when during flights in December 2006 and December 2014, ANITA detected a fountain of high-energy particles erupting from the ice - much like an upside-down cosmic-ray shower.
  • Over the years, ANITA has detected a handful of "anomalous" events
  • Instead of the high-energy neutrinos streaming in from space, they seem to have come from a strange angle, through the Earth's interior, before hitting the detector. 


  • These findings can't be explained by our current understanding of physics that much is true.  
  • These extremely high-energy neutrinos neutrinos had arrived at an angle that suggested they had just travelled through most of the planet, which is not expected for neutrinos at these energies.
  • This in particular might be an indicative of a parallel universe.


  • Proton, neutron, and electron are tiny particles that make up atoms
  • The neutrino is also a tiny elementary particle, but it is not part of the atom.
  • A neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge ,a very small mass and half integer spin.
  • Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe.
  • It interacts only via the weak subatomic force and gravity
  • The weak force has a very short range, the gravitational interaction is extremely weak, and neutrinos do not participate in the strong interaction.
  • Thus, neutrinos typically pass through normal matter unimpeded and undetected.
  • Neutrinos come in three types or “flavors” – electron neutrino, tau neutrino and muon neutrino
  • They can change from one flavor to another as they travel which is called neutrino oscillation and is an unusual quantum phenomenon.  
  • Neutrinos come from the sun (solar neutrinos) and other stars, cosmic rays that come from beyond the solar system, and from the Big Bang from which our Universe originated. 
  • They can also be produced in the lab.
  • Atmospheric neutrinos are produced from cosmic rays which consist of protons and heavy nuclei. These collide with atmospheric molecules such as Nitrogen to give off pions and muons which further decay to produce neutrinos.
  • In Theni district in Tamil Nadu, the India-based Neutrino Observatory is proposed to be set up which will help in Probing Early Universe, Properties of Sun and Medical Imaging.


Ice Cube Experiment:

  • The IceCube Neutrino Observatory (or simply IceCube) is a neutrino observatory constructed at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.
  • The project is a recognized CERN experiment.
  • Its thousands of sensors are located under the Antarctic ice, distributed over a cubic kilometre.
  • Similar to its predecessor, the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), IceCube consists of spherical optical sensors called Digital Optical Modules (DOMs), each with a photomultiplier tube (PMT) and a single-board data acquisition computer which sends digital data to the counting house on the surface above the array.
  • IceCube was completed on 18 December 2010.
  • In November 2013 it was announced that IceCube had detected 28 neutrinos that likely originated outside the Solar System.
  • It is part of a series of projects developed and supervised by the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


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