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      Correlation of the highest energy cosmic rays with nearby extragalactic objects

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          Abstract

          Using data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory during the past 3.7 years, we demonstrated a correlation between the arrival directions of cosmic rays with energy above ~ 6x10^{19} electron volts and the positions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) lying within ~ 75 megaparsecs. We rejected the hypothesis of an isotropic distribution of these cosmic rays with at least a 99% confidence level from a prescribed a priori test. The correlation we observed is compatible with the hypothesis that the highest energy particles originate from nearby extragalactic sources whose flux has not been substantially reduced by interaction with the cosmic background radiation. AGN or objects having a similar spatial distribution are possible sources.

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          Most cited references 4

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          The Origin of Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays

           A. M. Hillas (1984)
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            Evidence for a Primary Cosmic-Ray Particle with Energy1020eV

             John Linsley (1963)
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              Possible Clustering of the Most Energetic Cosmic Rays within a Limited Space Angle Observed by the Akeno Giant Air Shower Array

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                14 November 2007
                Article
                10.1126/science.1151124
                0711.2256
                Custom metadata
                Science 318:938-943,2007
                22 pages, 2 figures
                astro-ph

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