2,510 research outputs found

    Operations of and Future Plans for the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    Technical reports on operations and features of the Pierre Auger Observatory, including ongoing and planned enhancements and the status of the future northern hemisphere portion of the Observatory. Contributions to the 31st International Cosmic Ray Conference, Lodz, Poland, July 2009.Comment: Contributions to the 31st ICRC, Lodz, Poland, July 200

    Measurement of the Depth of Maximum of Extensive Air Showers above 10^18 eV

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    We describe the measurement of the depth of maximum, Xmax, of the longitudinal development of air showers induced by cosmic rays. Almost four thousand events above 10^18 eV observed by the fluorescence detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory in coincidence with at least one surface detector station are selected for the analysis. The average shower maximum was found to evolve with energy at a rate of (106 +35/-21) g/cm^2/decade below 10^(18.24 +/- 0.05) eV and (24 +/- 3) g/cm^2/decade above this energy. The measured shower-to-shower fluctuations decrease from about 55 to 26 g/cm^2. The interpretation of these results in terms of the cosmic ray mass composition is briefly discussed.Comment: Accepted for publication by PR

    Update on the correlation of the highest energy cosmic rays with nearby extragalactic matter

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    Data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory through 31 August 2007 showed evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of cosmic rays above the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuz'min energy threshold, \nobreak{6×10196\times 10^{19}eV}. The anisotropy was measured by the fraction of arrival directions that are less than 3.1∘3.1^\circ from the position of an active galactic nucleus within 75 Mpc (using the V\'eron-Cetty and V\'eron 12th12^{\rm th} catalog). An updated measurement of this fraction is reported here using the arrival directions of cosmic rays recorded above the same energy threshold through 31 December 2009. The number of arrival directions has increased from 27 to 69, allowing a more precise measurement. The correlating fraction is (38−6+7)(38^{+7}_{-6})%, compared with 2121% expected for isotropic cosmic rays. This is down from the early estimate of (69−13+11)(69^{+11}_{-13})%. The enlarged set of arrival directions is examined also in relation to other populations of nearby extragalactic objects: galaxies in the 2 Microns All Sky Survey and active galactic nuclei detected in hard X-rays by the Swift Burst Alert Telescope. A celestial region around the position of the radiogalaxy Cen A has the largest excess of arrival directions relative to isotropic expectations. The 2-point autocorrelation function is shown for the enlarged set of arrival directions and compared to the isotropic expectation.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astroparticle Physics on 31 August 201

    Anisotropy and chemical composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays using arrival directions measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    The Pierre Auger Collaboration has reported evidence for anisotropy in the distribution of arrival directions of the cosmic rays with energies E>Eth=5.5×1019E>E_{th}=5.5\times 10^{19} eV. These show a correlation with the distribution of nearby extragalactic objects, including an apparent excess around the direction of Centaurus A. If the particles responsible for these excesses at E>EthE>E_{th} are heavy nuclei with charge ZZ, the proton component of the sources should lead to excesses in the same regions at energies E/ZE/Z. We here report the lack of anisotropies in these directions at energies above Eth/ZE_{th}/Z (for illustrative values of Z=6, 13, 26Z=6,\ 13,\ 26). If the anisotropies above EthE_{th} are due to nuclei with charge ZZ, and under reasonable assumptions about the acceleration process, these observations imply stringent constraints on the allowed proton fraction at the lower energies

    Atmospheric effects on extensive air showers observed with the Surface Detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    Atmospheric parameters, such as pressure (P), temperature (T) and density, affect the development of extensive air showers initiated by energetic cosmic rays. We have studied the impact of atmospheric variations on extensive air showers by means of the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The rate of events shows a ~10% seasonal modulation and ~2% diurnal one. We find that the observed behaviour is explained by a model including the effects associated with the variations of pressure and density. The former affects the longitudinal development of air showers while the latter influences the Moliere radius and hence the lateral distribution of the shower particles. The model is validated with full simulations of extensive air showers using atmospheric profiles measured at the site of the Pierre Auger Observatory.Comment: 24 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in Astroparticle Physic

    The Fluorescence Detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    The Pierre Auger Observatory is a hybrid detector for ultra-high energy cosmic rays. It combines a surface array to measure secondary particles at ground level together with a fluorescence detector to measure the development of air showers in the atmosphere above the array. The fluorescence detector comprises 24 large telescopes specialized for measuring the nitrogen fluorescence caused by charged particles of cosmic ray air showers. In this paper we describe the components of the fluorescence detector including its optical system, the design of the camera, the electronics, and the systems for relative and absolute calibration. We also discuss the operation and the monitoring of the detector. Finally, we evaluate the detector performance and precision of shower reconstructions.Comment: 53 pages. Submitted to Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section

    Advanced functionality for radio analysis in the Offline software framework of the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    The advent of the Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) necessitates the development of a powerful framework for the analysis of radio measurements of cosmic ray air showers. As AERA performs "radio-hybrid" measurements of air shower radio emission in coincidence with the surface particle detectors and fluorescence telescopes of the Pierre Auger Observatory, the radio analysis functionality had to be incorporated in the existing hybrid analysis solutions for fluoresence and surface detector data. This goal has been achieved in a natural way by extending the existing Auger Offline software framework with radio functionality. In this article, we lay out the design, highlights and features of the radio extension implemented in the Auger Offline framework. Its functionality has achieved a high degree of sophistication and offers advanced features such as vectorial reconstruction of the electric field, advanced signal processing algorithms, a transparent and efficient handling of FFTs, a very detailed simulation of detector effects, and the read-in of multiple data formats including data from various radio simulation codes. The source code of this radio functionality can be made available to interested parties on request.Comment: accepted for publication in NIM A, 13 pages, minor corrections to author list and references in v

    Search for First Harmonic Modulation in the Right Ascension Distribution of Cosmic Rays Detected at the Pierre Auger Observatory