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Morocco, the only Arab and African country to participate in the world’s largest marine telescope project

Moroccan experts from Mohammed V University in Rabat and Mohammed I University in Oujda participated in the project to set up the largest marine telescope in the world. Morocco is thus “the only Arab and African country” to participate in this project with Spain, Italy, France and Greece. This telescope which will be placed in the Mediterranean Sea to observe the universe, examine its energy sources, and study how optical units propagate in the universe.

Moroccan physicist Yahya Tayalati, teacher-researcher at Mohammed V University and coordinator of the “Next Generation of Neutrino Telescopes” project known as “Km3Net” in Morocco, said this telescope is still under construction. “Currently, it has been completed by some units and will be ready by the end of 2025,” he added.

This project constitutes a “huge multidisciplinary research infrastructure”, made up of a network of marine telescopes specializing in the monitoring of neutrino particles. Unveiled in 2006, the first phase of engineering studies, assembly and operation of prototypes, was carried out in 2009, when the telescope became “one of the priority projects in Europe”.

“This unique device will open a new window to the universe, as it seeks to detect the very faint light emanating from the interactions of atmospheric and cosmic neutrinos in water. We seek to study the properties of these particles through their oscillations to measure the hierarchy of masses”, explains the principal investigator of the project.

For him, Morocco’s participation in this project is distinct and diversified, notably through the creation of a national unit at the Faculty of Sciences of Rabat specializing in the manufacture of digital optical units for the telescope and another at the Faculty of Oujda Sciences, specializing in the manufacture of electro-optical routers. 2 million dirhams have been allocated by the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education for this international project.

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