Standing over 450 feet tall, the Great Pyramid Of Egypt dwarfs most ancient structures and was the tallest constructed object in the world for thousands of years. It is still among the world’s most massive buildings, with an estimated weight of over 6 million tons. Being constructed of limestone, granite, and marble, the outer white limestone would have shone brightly in the desert sun, however, earthquake damage, weathering, and ‘borrowing’ materials for other buildings have taken a toll on the appearance, leaving only a few of the outer casing stones in place.
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As fascinating as the outer appearance of the Great Pyramid Of Egypt is, the interior is where the mystery lies. Scientists are hoping to shed light on hidden details with the use of muon tomography. Known as the Explore the Great Pyramid (EGP) mission, details of the planning were recently published in Cornell University’s arXiv (via Universe Today). Using a muon scanning system that should be 100 times more sensitive than previous designs, scientists will peer inside the Great Pyramid of Egypt to find any hidden details and refine the work that has been done so far by the ScanPyramid team.
Great Pyramid Muon Scans
ScanPyramid made a huge discovery of an unknown cavity within the structure in 2017, which has come to be known as the Big Void. The new Great Pyramid exploration mission uses muons just as ScanPyramid did, however, it is a larger array that is designed to capture much more data in shorter periods of time. Taking a total of 36 scans, nine on each side from the base of the Great Pyramid, the expectation is to complete the scans in about two years.
This process takes this long because muon tomography relies upon a huge number of cosmic rays penetrating the structure at various angles in order to get a three-dimensional density scan. The resolution will be one cubic meter, which is a large volume but small in comparison to the Great Pyramid of Egypt. By using muons which come from cosmic rays, the secrets of the Great Pyramid Of Egypt might finally be revealed without damaging the ancient structure and having minimal impact on other research and tourist activity.