The Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) measures radio properties of cosmic-ray induced air showers within the Pierre Auger Observatory. The analysis of the radio data requires a very precise time-synchronisation between the individual radio detector stations. The GPS-clocks built into the AERA stations only provide a resolution of about 10 ns, whereas 1-2 ns is needed.
For this purpose, we conceived and installed a reference transmitter ("beacon") whose signals are recorded within the AERA data stream. Based upon these measurements the timing of each station is adjusted. But how can we independently check if this technique really achieves the precision we need?
High-energy neutrinos are thought to be excellent cosmic messengers when exploring the extreme universe: they don’t bend in magnetic fields as cosmic rays (CRs) do and they are not absorbed by the radiation background as gamma rays are. However, it turns out that the deviation of some CRs, namely protons, is expected to be only a few degrees at energies above 50 EeV. This opens the possibility for investigating common origins of high-energy neutrinos and CRs.
In a new study by the IceCube, Pierre Auger, and Telescope Array Collaborations, scientists have looked for correlations between the highest energy neutrino candidates in IceCube and the highest energy CRs in these two cosmic-ray observatories. The results, submitted today to the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, have not found any correlation at discovery level. However, potentially interesting results have been found and will continue to be studied in future joint analyses.
Celebrating 15 years of achievements and signature ceremony of a new International Agreement for the next 10 years
The Pierre Auger Observatory is the world’s leading science project for the exploration of cosmic rays. More than 500 scientists from 16 countries have been working together since 1998 in the Province of Mendoza, Argentina, to elucidate the origin and properties of the most energetic particles in the Universe, coming to us from the far reaches of the cosmos. The Pierre Auger Observatory measures gigantic showers of relativistic particles that are the result of collisions between the very rare, highest-energy cosmic rays and atomic nuclei of the atmosphere. Properties of such air showers are used to infer the energy, direction, and mass of the cosmic particles.