Correlation of the highest-energy cosmic rays with the positions of nearby active galactic nuclei

J. Abraham, P. Abreu, M. Aglietta, C. Aguirre, D. Allard, I. Allekotte, J. Allen, P. Allison, J. Alvarez-Muñiz, M. Ambrosio, L. Anchordoqui, S. Andringa, A. Anzalone, C. Aramo, S. Argirò, K. Arisaka, E. Armengaud, F. Arneodo, F. Arqueros, T. AschH. Asorey, P. Assis, B. S. Atulugama, J. Aublin, M. Ave, G. Avila, T. Bäcker, D. Badagnani, A. F. Barbosa, D. Barnhill, S. L.C. Barroso, P. Bauleo, J. J. Beatty, T. Beau, B. R. Becker, K. H. Becker, J. A. Bellido, S. BenZvi, C. Berat, T. Bergmann, P. Bernardini, X. Bertou, P. L. Biermann, P. Billoir, O. Blanch-Bigas, F. Blanco, P. Blasi, C. Bleve, H. Blümer, M. Boháčová, C. Bonifazi, R. Bonino, J. Brack, P. Brogueira, W. C. Brown, P. Buchholz, A. Bueno, R. E. Burton, N. G. Busca, K. S. Caballero-Mora, B. Cai, D. V. Camin, L. Caramete, R. Caruso, W. Carvalho, A. Castellina, O. Catalano, G. Cataldi, L. Cazon, R. Cester, J. Chauvin, A. Chiavassa, J. A. Chinellato, A. Chou, J. Chye, R. W. Clay, E. Colombo, R. Conceição, B. Connolly, F. Contreras, J. Coppens, A. Cordier, U. Cotti, S. Coutu, C. E. Covault, A. Creusot, A. Criss, J. Cronin, A. Curutiu, S. Dagoret-Campagne, K. Daumiller, B. R. Dawson, R. M. de Almeida, C. De Donato, S. J. de Jong, G. De La Vega, W. J.M. de Mello, J. R.T. de Mello Neto, I. De Mitri, V. de Souza, L. del Peral, O. Deligny, A. Della Selva, C. Delle Fratte, H. Dembinski, C. Di Giulio, J. C. Diaz, P. N. Diep, C. Dobrigkeit, J. C. D'Olivo, P. N. Dong, D. Dornic, A. Dorofeev, J. C. dos Anjos, M. T. Dova, D. D'Urso, I. Dutan, M. A. DuVernois, R. Engel, L. Epele, M. Erdmann, C. O. Escobar, A. Etchegoyen, P. Facal San Luis, H. Falcke, G. Farrar, A. C. Fauth, N. Fazzini, F. Ferrer, S. Ferry, B. Fick, A. Filevich, A. Filipčič, I. Fleck, C. E. Fracchiolla, W. Fulgione, B. García, D. García Gámez, D. Garcia-Pinto, X. Garrido, H. Geenen, G. Gelmini, H. Gemmeke, P. L. Ghia, M. Giller, H. Glass, M. S. Gold, G. Golup, F. Gomez Albarracin, M. Gómez Berisso, R. Gómez Herrero, P. Gonçalves, M. Gonçalves do Amaral, D. Gonzalez, J. G. Gonzalez, M. González, D. Góra, A. Gorgi, P. Gouffon, V. Grassi, A. F. Grillo, C. Grunfeld, Y. Guardincerri, F. Guarino, G. P. Guedes, J. Gutiérrez, J. D. Hague, J. C. Hamilton, P. Hansen, D. Harari, S. Harmsma, J. L. Harton, A. Haungs, T. Hauschildt, M. D. Healy, T. Hebbeker, G. Hebrero, D. Heck, C. Hojvat, V. C. Holmes, P. Homola, J. Hörandel, A. Horneffer, M. Horvat, M. Hrabovský, T. Huege, M. Hussain, M. Iarlori, A. Insolia, F. Ionita, A. Italiano, M. Kaducak, K. H. Kampert, T. Karova, B. Kégl, B. Keilhauer, E. Kemp, R. M. Kieckhafer, H. O. Klages, M. Kleifges, J. Kleinfeller, R. Knapik, J. Knapp, D. H. Koang, A. Krieger, O. Krömer, D. Kuempel, N. Kunka, A. Kusenko, G. La Rosa, C. Lachaud, B. L. Lago, D. Lebrun, P. LeBrun, J. Lee, M. A.Leigui de Oliveira, A. Letessier-Selvon, M. Leuthold, I. Lhenry-Yvon, R. López, A. Lopez Agüera, J. Lozano Bahilo, R. Luna García, M. C. Maccarone, C. Macolino, S. Maldera, G. Mancarella, M. E. Manceñido, D. Mandat, P. Mantsch, A. G. Mariazzi, I. C. Maris, H. R.Marquez Falcon, D. Martello, J. Martínez, O. Martínez Bravo, H. J. Mathes, J. Matthews, J. A.J. Matthews, G. Matthiae, D. Maurizio, P. O. Mazur, T. McCauley, M. McEwen, R. R. McNeil, M. C. Medina, G. Medina-Tanco, A. Meli, D. Melo, E. Menichetti, A. Menschikov, Chr Meurer, R. Meyhandan, M. I. Micheletti, G. Miele, W. Miller, S. Mollerach, M. Monasor, D. Monnier Ragaigne, F. Montanet, B. Morales, C. Morello, J. C. Moreno, C. Morris, M. Mostafá, M. A. Muller, R. Mussa, G. Navarra, J. L. Navarro, S. Navas, P. Necesal, L. Nellen, C. Newman-Holmes, D. Newton, P. T. Nhung, N. Nierstenhoefer, D. Nitz, D. Nosek, L. Nožka, J. Oehlschläger, T. Ohnuki, A. Olinto, V. M. Olmos-Gilbaja, M. Ortiz, F. Ortolani, S. Ostapchenko, L. Otero, N. Pacheco, D. Pakk Selmi-Dei, M. Palatka, J. Pallotta, G. Parente, E. Parizot, S. Parlati, S. Pastor, M. Patel, T. Paul, V. Pavlidou, K. Payet, M. Pech, J. Pȩkala, R. Pelayo, I. M. Pepe, L. Perrone, S. Petrera, P. Petrinca, Y. Petrov, A. Pichel, R. Piegaia, T. Pierog, M. Pimenta, T. Pinto, V. Pirronello, O. Pisanti, M. Platino, J. Pochon, P. Privitera, M. Prouza, E. J. Quel, J. Rautenberg, A. Redondo, S. Reucroft, B. Revenu, F. A.S. Rezende, J. Ridky, S. Riggi, M. Risse, C. Rivière, V. Rizi, M. Roberts, C. Robledo, G. Rodriguez, J. Rodriguez Martino, J. Rodriguez Rojo, I. Rodriguez-Cabo, M. D. Rodríguez-Frías, G. Ros, J. Rosado, M. Roth, B. Rouillé-d'Orfeuil, E. Roulet, A. C. Rovero, F. Salamida, H. Salazar, G. Salina, F. Sánchez, M. Santander, C. E. Santo, E. M. Santos, F. Sarazin, S. Sarkar, R. Sato, V. Scherini, H. Schieler, A. Schmidt, F. Schmidt, T. Schmidt, O. Scholten, P. Schovánek, F. Schüssler, S. J. Sciutto, M. Scuderi, A. Segreto, D. Semikoz, M. Settimo, R. C. Shellard, I. Sidelnik, B. B. Siffert, G. Sigl, N. Smetniansky De Grande, A. Smiałkowski, R. Šmída, A. G.K. Smith, B. E. Smith, G. R. Snow, P. Sokolsky, P. Sommers, J. Sorokin, H. Spinka, R. Squartini, E. Strazzeri, A. Stutz, F. Suarez, T. Suomijärvi, A. D. Supanitsky, M. S. Sutherland, J. Swain, Z. Szadkowski, J. Takahashi, A. Tamashiro, A. Tamburro, O. Taşcǎu, R. Tcaciuc, N. T. Thao, D. Thomas, R. Ticona, J. Tiffenberg, C. Timmermans, W. Tkaczyk, C. J.Todero Peixoto, B. Tomé, A. Tonachini, I. Torres, P. Travnicek, A. Tripathi, G. Tristram, D. Tscherniakhovski, M. Tueros, R. Ulrich, M. Unger, M. Urban, J. F.Valdés Galicia, I. Valiño, L. Valore, A. M. van den Berg, V. van Elewyck, R. A. Vázquez, D. Veberič, A. Veiga, A. Velarde, T. Venters, V. Verzi, M. Videla, L. Villaseñor, S. Vorobiov, L. Voyvodic, H. Wahlberg, O. Wainberg, D. Warner, A. A. Watson, S. Westerhoff, G. Wieczorek, L. Wiencke, B. Wilczyńska, H. Wilczyński, C. Wileman, M. G. Winnick, H. Wu, B. Wundheiler, T. Yamamoto, P. Younk, E. Zas, D. Zavrtanik, M. Zavrtanik, A. Zech, A. Zepeda, M. Ziolkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

393 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory provide evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of the cosmic rays with the highest-energies, which are correlated with the positions of relatively nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN) [Pierre Auger Collaboration, Science 318 (2007) 938]. The correlation has maximum significance for cosmic rays with energy greater than ∼6 × 1019 eV and AGN at a distance less than ∼75 Mpc. We have confirmed the anisotropy at a confidence level of more than 99% through a test with parameters specified a priori, using an independent data set. The observed correlation is compatible with the hypothesis that cosmic rays with the highest-energies originate from extra-galactic sources close enough so that their flux is not significantly attenuated by interaction with the cosmic background radiation (the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuz'min effect). The angular scale of the correlation observed is a few degrees, which suggests a predominantly light composition unless the magnetic fields are very weak outside the thin disk of our galaxy. Our present data do not identify AGN as the sources of cosmic rays unambiguously, and other candidate sources which are distributed as nearby AGN are not ruled out. We discuss the prospect of unequivocal identification of individual sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays within a few years of continued operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-204
Number of pages17
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to the following agencies and organizations for financial support: Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Fundación Antorchas, Gobierno De La Provincia de Mendoza, Municipalidad de Malargüe, NDM Holdings and Valle Las Leñas, in gratitude for their continuing cooperation over land access, Argentina; the Australian Research Council; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia (MCT), Brazil; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic; Centre de Calcul IN2P3/CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Conseil Régional Ile-de-France, Département Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire (PNC-IN2P3/CNRS), Département Sciences de l’Univers (SDU-INSU/CNRS), France; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Finanzministerium Baden-Württemberg, Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF), Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR), Italy; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico; Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), Netherlands; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Grant Nos. 1 P03 D 014 30, N202 090 31/0623, and PAP/218/2006, Poland; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal; Ministry for Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Slovenian Research Agency, Slovenia; Comunidad de Madrid, Consejería de Educación de la Comunidad de Castilla La Mancha, FEDER funds, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Xunta de Galicia, Spain; Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom; Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359, National Science Foundation, Grant No. 0450696, The Grainger Foundation USA; ALFA-EC/ HELEN, European Union 6th Framework Program, Grant No. MEIF-CT-2005-025057, and UNESCO.

Keywords

  • AGN
  • Anisotropy
  • Auger
  • EGMF
  • Extra-galactic
  • GMF
  • GZK
  • High energy cosmic rays
  • Observatory
  • UHECR

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Correlation of the highest-energy cosmic rays with the positions of nearby active galactic nuclei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this