The IceCube Observatory is a specialty lab constructed about a mile and a half below Antarctic ice. The South Pole lab was designed to observe Neutrinos
which could hold important clues to the formation of our Universe (and Galaxy->Solar System->Planet). The $279M project was primarily funded by a $242M grant from the National Science Foundation
From the article:
The collision between a neutrino and an atom produces particles known as ‘muons’ in a flash of blue light called ‘Cherenkov radiation’. In the ultratransparency of the Antarctic ice, IceCube’s optical sensors detect this blue light.
Source -> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1341047/Incredible-IceCube-observatory-built-beneath-Antarctic-ice-designed-catch-mysterious-particles-space.html
Better link from the horse's mouth -> http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2010/12/17/completing-icecube/
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