1,268 research outputs found

    In situ estimation of ice crystal properties at the South Pole using LED calibration data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

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    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory instruments about 1‚ÄČkm3 of deep, glacial ice at the geographic South Pole. It uses 5160 photomultipliers to detect Cherenkov light emitted by charged relativistic particles. An unexpected light propagation effect observed by the experiment is an anisotropic attenuation, which is aligned with the local flow direction of the ice. We examine birefringent light propagation through the polycrystalline ice microstructure as a possible explanation for this effect. The predictions of a first-principles model developed for this purpose, in particular curved light trajectories resulting from asymmetric diffusion, provide a qualitatively good match to the main features of the data. This in turn allows us to deduce ice crystal properties. Since the wavelength of the detected light is short compared to the crystal size, these crystal properties include not only the crystal orientation fabric, but also the average crystal size and shape, as a function of depth. By adding small empirical corrections to this first-principles model, a quantitatively accurate description of the optical properties of the IceCube glacial ice is obtained. In this paper, we present the experimental signature of ice optical anisotropy observed in IceCube light-emitting diode (LED) calibration data, the theory and parameterization of the birefringence effect, the fitting procedures of these parameterizations to experimental data, and the inferred crystal properties.</p

    Design, performance, and analysis of a measurement of optical properties of antarctic ice below 400 nm

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    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located at the geographic South Pole, is the world\u27s largest neutrino telescope, instrumenting 1 km3^3 of Antarctic ice with 5160 photosensors to detect Cherenkov light. For the IceCube Upgrade, to be deployed during the 2022-23 polar field season, and the enlarged detector IceCube-Gen2 several new optical sensor designs are under development. One of these optical sensors, the Wavelength-shifting Optical Module (WOM), uses wavelength-shifting and light-guiding techniques to measure Cherenkov photons in the UV range from 250 nm to 380 nm. In order to understand the potential gains from this new technology, a measurement of the scattering and absorption lengths of UV light was performed in the SPICEcore borehole at the South Pole during the winter seasons of 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. For this purpose, a calibration device with a UV light source and a detector using the wavelength shifting technology was developed. We present the design of the developed calibration device, its performance during the measurement campaigns, and the comparison of data to a Monte Carlo simulation

    Observations of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar with the Large-Sized Telescope Prototype of the Cherenkov Telescope Array

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    CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies. The Large-Sized Telescope prototype (\LST{}) is located at the Northern site of CTA, on the Canary Island of La Palma. LSTs are designed to provide optimal performance in the lowest part of the energy range covered by CTA, down to ‚ČÉ20\simeq 20 GeV. \LST{} started performing astronomical observations in November 2019, during its commissioning phase, and it has been taking data since then. We present the first \LST{} observations of the Crab Nebula, the standard candle of very-high energy gamma-ray astronomy, and use them, together with simulations, to assess the basic performance parameters of the telescope. The data sample consists of around 36 hours of observations at low zenith angles collected between November 2020 and March 2022. \LST{} has reached the expected performance during its commissioning period - only a minor adjustment of the preexisting simulations was needed to match the telescope behavior. The energy threshold at trigger level is estimated to be around 20 GeV, rising to ‚ČÉ30\simeq 30 GeV after data analysis. Performance parameters depend strongly on energy, and on the strength of the gamma-ray selection cuts in the analysis: angular resolution ranges from 0.12 to 0.40 degrees, and energy resolution from 15 to 50\%. Flux sensitivity is around 1.1\% of the Crab Nebula flux above 250 GeV for a 50-h observation (12\% for 30 minutes). The spectral energy distribution (in the 0.03 - 30 TeV range) and the light curve obtained for the Crab Nebula agree with previous measurements, considering statistical and systematic uncertainties. A clear periodic signal is also detected from the pulsar at the center of the Nebula.Comment: Submitted to Ap

    Observations of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar with the Large-Sized Telescope Prototype of the Cherenkov Telescope Array

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    International audienceCTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies. The Large-Sized Telescope prototype (\LST) is located at the Northern site of CTA, on the Canary Island of La Palma. LSTs are designed to provide optimal performance in the lowest part of the energy range covered by CTA, down to ‚ČÉ20\simeq 20 GeV. \LST started performing astronomical observations in November 2019, during its commissioning phase, and it has been taking data since then. We present the first \LST observations of the Crab Nebula, the standard candle of very-high energy gamma-ray astronomy, and use them, together with simulations, to assess the basic performance parameters of the telescope. The data sample consists of around 36 hours of observations at low zenith angles collected between November 2020 and March 2022. \LST has reached the expected performance during its commissioning period - only a minor adjustment of the preexisting simulations was needed to match the telescope behavior. The energy threshold at trigger level is estimated to be around 20 GeV, rising to ‚ČÉ30\simeq 30 GeV after data analysis. Performance parameters depend strongly on energy, and on the strength of the gamma-ray selection cuts in the analysis: angular resolution ranges from 0.12 to 0.40 degrees, and energy resolution from 15 to 50%. Flux sensitivity is around 1.1% of the Crab Nebula flux above 250 GeV for a 50-h observation (12% for 30 minutes). The spectral energy distribution (in the 0.03 - 30 TeV range) and the light curve obtained for the Crab Nebula agree with previous measurements, considering statistical and systematic uncertainties. A clear periodic signal is also detected from the pulsar at the center of the Nebula

    Performance of the joint LST-1 and MAGIC observations evaluated with Crab Nebula data

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    International audienceAims. LST-1, the prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope for the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory, is concluding its commissioning in Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the island of La Palma. The proximity of LST-1 (Large-Sized Telescope 1) to the two MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov) telescopes permits observations of the same gamma-ray events with both systems. Methods. We describe the joint LST-1+MAGIC analysis pipeline and use simultaneous Crab Nebula observations and Monte Carlo simulations to assess the performance of the three-telescope system. The addition of the LST-1 telescope allows the recovery of events in which one of the MAGIC images is too dim to survive analysis quality cuts. Results. Thanks to the resulting increase in the collection area and stronger background rejection, we find a significant improvement in sensitivity, allowing the detection of 30% weaker fluxes in the energy range between 200 GeV and 3 TeV. The spectrum of the Crab Nebula, reconstructed in the energy range ~60 GeV to ~10 TeV, is in agreement with previous measurements

    Dark Matter Neutrino Scattering in the Galactic Centre with IceCube

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    While there is evidence for the existence of dark matter, its properties have yet to be discovered. Simultaneously, the nature of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos detected by IceCube remains unresolved. If dark matter and neutrinos are coupled to each other, they may exhibit a non-zero elastic scattering cross section. Such an interaction between an isotropic extragalactic neutrino flux and dark matter would be concentrated in the Galactic Centre, where the dark matter column density is greatest. This scattering would attenuate the flux of high-energy neutrinos, which could be observed in IceCube. Using the seven-year Medium Energy Starting Events sample, we perform an unbinned likelihood analysis, searching for a signal based on a possible DM-neutrino interaction scenario. We search for a suppression of the high-energy astrophysical neutrino flux in the direction of the Galactic Centre, and compare these constraints to complementary low-energy information from large scale structure surveys and the cosmic microwave background

    Search for Correlations of High-energy Neutrinos Detected in IceCube with Radio-bright AGN and Gamma-Ray Emission from Blazars

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    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory sends realtime neutrino alerts with a high probability of being astrophysical in origin. We present a new method to correlate these events and possible candidate sources using 2089 blazars from the Fermi-LAT 4LAC-DR2 catalog and with 3413 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the Radio Fundamental Catalog. No statistically significant neutrino emission was found in any of the catalog searches. The result suggests that a small fraction, <1%, of the studied AGNs emit neutrinos that pass the alert criteria, and is compatible with prior evidence for neutrino emission presented by IceCube and other authors from sources such as TXS 0506 + 056 and PKS 1502 + 106. We also present cross-checks to other analyses that claim a significant correlation using similar data samples

    Prospects for a survey of the Galactic plane with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

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    International audienceApproximately one hundred sources of very-high-energy (VHE) gamma rays are known in the Milky Way. A survey of the entire Galactic Plane in the energy range from a few tens of GeV to a few hundred TeV has been proposed as a Key Science Project for the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO). This article presents the status of the studies towards the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS). We build and make publicly available a sky model that combines data from observations of known gamma-ray emitters with state-of-the-art physically-driven models of synthetic populations of the main classes of established Galactic VHE sources, as well as of interstellar emission from cosmic-ray interactions in the Milky Way. We also perform an optimisation of the observation strategy. We use the improved sky model and observation strategy to simulate GPS data that are analysed using the methods and software tools under development for real data. We show that the GPS has the potential to increase the number of known Galactic VHE emitters by almost a factor of five. This corresponds to the detection of more than two hundred pulsar wind nebulae and a few tens of supernova remnants at average integral fluxes one order of magnitude lower than in the existing sample above 1 TeV, therefore opening the possibility to perform unprecedented population studies. The GPS also has the potential to provide new VHE detections of binary systems and pulsars, and to identify any bright PeVatrons. Furthermore, the GPS will constitute a pathfinder for deeper follow-up observations of these source classes. Finally, we show that we can extract from GPS data an estimate of the contribution to diffuse emission from unresolved sources, and that there are good prospects of detecting interstellar emission and statistically distinguishing different scenarios. (Abridged

    Constraining High-Energy Neutrino Emission from Supernovae with IceCube

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    Core-collapse supernovae are a promising potential high-energy neutrino source class. We test for correlation between seven years of IceCube neutrino data and a catalog containing more than 1000 core-collapse supernovae of types IIn and IIP and a sample of stripped-envelope supernovae. We search both for neutrino emission from individual supernovae, and for combined emission from the whole supernova sample through a stacking analysis. No significant spatial or temporal correlation of neutrinos with the cataloged supernovae was found. The overall deviation of all tested scenarios from the background expectation yields a p-value of 93% which is fully compatible with background. The derived upper limits on the total energy emitted in neutrinos are 1.7√ó10481.7\times 10^{48} erg for stripped-envelope supernovae, 2.8√ó10482.8\times 10^{48} erg for type IIP, and 1.3√ó10491.3\times 10^{49} erg for type IIn SNe, the latter disfavouring models with optimistic assumptions for neutrino production in interacting supernovae. We conclude that strippe-envelope supernovae and supernovae of type IIn do not contribute more than 14.6%14.6\% and 33.9%33.9\% respectively to the diffuse neutrino flux in the energy range of about 103‚ąí10510^3-10^5 GeV, assuming that the neutrino energy spectrum follows a power-law with an index of ‚ąí2.5-2.5. Under the same assumption, we can only constrain the contribution of type IIP SNe to no more than 59.9%59.9\%. Thus core-collapse supernovae of types IIn and stripped-envelope supernovae can both be ruled out as the dominant source of the diffuse neutrino flux under the given assumptions

    Measurement of Atmospheric Neutrino Mixing with Improved IceCube DeepCore Calibration and Data Processing

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    We describe a new data sample of IceCube DeepCore and report on the latest measurement of atmospheric neutrino oscillations obtained with data recorded between 2011-2019. The sample includes significant improvements in data calibration, detector simulation, and data processing, and the analysis benefits from a detailed treatment of systematic uncertainties, with significantly higher level of detail since our last study. By measuring the relative fluxes of neutrino flavors as a function of their reconstructed energies and arrival directions we constrain the atmospheric neutrino mixing parameters to be sin‚Ā°2őł23=0.51¬Ī0.05\sin^2\theta_{23} = 0.51\pm 0.05 and őĒm322=2.41¬Ī0.07√ó10‚ąí3eV2\Delta m^2_{32} = 2.41\pm0.07\times 10^{-3}\mathrm{eV}^2, assuming a normal mass ordering. The resulting 40% reduction in the error of both parameters with respect to our previous result makes this the most precise measurement of oscillation parameters using atmospheric neutrinos. Our results are also compatible and complementary to those obtained using neutrino beams from accelerators, which are obtained at lower neutrino energies and are subject to different sources of uncertainties
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