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Title: A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE HIGHEST ENERGY COSMIC RAYS AND NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI DETECTED BY FERMI

Abstract

We analyze the correlation of the positions of {gamma}-ray sources in the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) First Source Catalog (1FGL) and the First LAT Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) Catalog (1LAC) with the arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) observed with the Pierre Auger Observatory, in order to investigate the origin of UHECRs. We find that Galactic sources and blazars identified in the 1FGL are not significantly correlated with UHECRs, while the 1LAC sources display a mild correlation (2.6{sigma} level) on an {approx}2.{sup 0}4 angular scale. When selecting only the 1LAC AGNs closer than 200 Mpc, we find a strong association (5.4{sigma}) between their positions and the directions of UHECRs on an {approx}17{sup 0} angular scale; the probability of the observed configuration being due to an isotropic flux of cosmic rays is 5 x 10{sup -8}. There is also a 5{sigma} correlation with nearby 1LAC sources on a 6.{sup 0}5 scale. We identify seven '{gamma}-ray loud' AGNs which are associated with UHECRs within {approx}17{sup 0} and are likely candidates for the production sites of UHECRs: Centaurus A, NGC 4945, ESO 323-G77, 4C+04.77, NGC 1218, RX J0008.0+1450, and NGC 253. We interpret these results as providing additional support to themore » hypothesis of the origin of UHECRs in nearby extragalactic objects. As the angular scales of the correlations are large, we discuss the possibility that intervening magnetic fields might be considerably deflecting the trajectories of the particles on their way to Earth.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Campus do Vale, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (Brazil)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21464699
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 722; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/722/1/281
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMIC GAMMA SOURCES; COSMIC RADIATION; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; GAMMA RADIATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PROBABILITY; TELESCOPES; COSMIC RAY SOURCES; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; IONIZING RADIATIONS; RADIATIONS

Citation Formats

Nemmen, Rodrigo S., Bonatto, Charles, and Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa, E-mail: rodrigo.nemmen@ufrgs.b. A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE HIGHEST ENERGY COSMIC RAYS AND NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI DETECTED BY FERMI. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/722/1/281.
Nemmen, Rodrigo S., Bonatto, Charles, & Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa, E-mail: rodrigo.nemmen@ufrgs.b. A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE HIGHEST ENERGY COSMIC RAYS AND NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI DETECTED BY FERMI. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/722/1/281.
Nemmen, Rodrigo S., Bonatto, Charles, and Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa, E-mail: rodrigo.nemmen@ufrgs.b. 2010. "A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE HIGHEST ENERGY COSMIC RAYS AND NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI DETECTED BY FERMI". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/722/1/281.
@article{osti_21464699,
title = {A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE HIGHEST ENERGY COSMIC RAYS AND NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI DETECTED BY FERMI},
author = {Nemmen, Rodrigo S. and Bonatto, Charles and Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa, E-mail: rodrigo.nemmen@ufrgs.b},
abstractNote = {We analyze the correlation of the positions of {gamma}-ray sources in the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) First Source Catalog (1FGL) and the First LAT Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) Catalog (1LAC) with the arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) observed with the Pierre Auger Observatory, in order to investigate the origin of UHECRs. We find that Galactic sources and blazars identified in the 1FGL are not significantly correlated with UHECRs, while the 1LAC sources display a mild correlation (2.6{sigma} level) on an {approx}2.{sup 0}4 angular scale. When selecting only the 1LAC AGNs closer than 200 Mpc, we find a strong association (5.4{sigma}) between their positions and the directions of UHECRs on an {approx}17{sup 0} angular scale; the probability of the observed configuration being due to an isotropic flux of cosmic rays is 5 x 10{sup -8}. There is also a 5{sigma} correlation with nearby 1LAC sources on a 6.{sup 0}5 scale. We identify seven '{gamma}-ray loud' AGNs which are associated with UHECRs within {approx}17{sup 0} and are likely candidates for the production sites of UHECRs: Centaurus A, NGC 4945, ESO 323-G77, 4C+04.77, NGC 1218, RX J0008.0+1450, and NGC 253. We interpret these results as providing additional support to the hypothesis of the origin of UHECRs in nearby extragalactic objects. As the angular scales of the correlations are large, we discuss the possibility that intervening magnetic fields might be considerably deflecting the trajectories of the particles on their way to Earth.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/722/1/281},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 722,
place = {United States},
year = 2010,
month =
}
  • 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) [1]. The correlation has maximum significance for cosmic rays with energy greater than {approx} 6 x 10{sup 19} eV and AGN at a distance less than {approx} 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 thatmore » 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-Kuzmin 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.« less
  • We develop the statistical methods for comparing two sets of arrival directions of cosmic rays in which the two-dimensional distribution of arrival directions is reduced to the one-dimensional distributions so that the standard one-dimensional Kolmogorov-Smirnov test can be applied. Then we apply them to the analysis of correlation between the ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) with energies above 5.7 × 10{sup 19} eV, observed by Pierre Auger Observatory (PAO) and Akeno Giant Air Shower Array (AGASA), and the active galactic nuclei (AGN) within the distance 100 Mpc. For statistical test, we set up the simple AGN model for UHECR sourcesmore » in which a certain fraction of observed UHECR are originated from AGN within a chosen distance, assuming that all AGN have equal UHECR luminosity and smearing angle, and the remaining fraction are from the isotropic background contribution. For the PAO data, our methods exclude not only a hypothesis that the observed UHECR are simply isotropically distributed but also a hypothesis that they are completely originated from the selected AGN. But, the addition of appropriate amount of isotropic component either through the background contribution or through the large smearing effect improves the correlation greatly and makes the AGN hypothesis for UHECR sources a viable one. We also point out that restricting AGN within the distance bin of 40–60 Mpc happens to yield a good correlation without appreciable isotropic component and large smearing effect. For the AGASA data, we don't find any significant correlation with AGN.« less
  • Using data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory during the past 3.7 years, we demonstrate that there is a correlation between the arrival directions of cosmic rays with energy above {approx} 6 x 10{sup 19} eV and the positions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) lying within {approx} 75 Mpc. We reject the hypothesis of an isotropic distribution of these cosmic rays at over 99% confidence level from a prescribed a priori test. The correlation we observe is compatible with the hypothesis that the highest energy particles originate from nearby extragalactic sources whose flux has not been significantly reduced by interactionmore » with the cosmic background radiation. AGN or objects having a similar spatial distribution are possible sources.« less
  • 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-Kuzmin energy threshold, 6 x 10{sup 19} eV. The anisotropy was measured by the fraction of arrival directions that are less than 3.1{sup o} from the position of an active galactic nucleus within 75 Mpc (using the Veron-Cetty and Veron 12th 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 frommore » 27 to 69, allowing a more precise measurement. The correlating fraction is (38{sub -6}{sup +7})%, compared with 21% expected for isotropic cosmic rays. This is down from the early estimate of (69{sub -13}{sup +11})%. 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.« less
  • We study possible correlations between ultrahigh energy cosmic rays (UHECRs), observed by Auger, AGASA, and Yakutsk, and nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and Fermi sources. We consider the deflection effects by a Galactic magnetic field (GMF) model constrained by the most updated measurements. We found that the average deflection angles of UHECRs by the Galactic magnetic fields are less than 4{sup 0}. A correlation between the Auger cosmic-ray events and nearby AGNs with a significance level of {approx}4{sigma} was found for the Auger UHECR data sets with or without deflection correction. No correlation was found between the AGASA/Yakutsk events withmore » nearby AGNs. Marginal correlations between the Auger events and the Fermi sources, and between AGASA events and Fermi AGNs were found when the deflections calculated by the GMF model were considered. However, no correlation was found between the Yakutsk data and Fermi sources. Some Fermi sources are close to the arrival directions of UHECR events detected by Auger, AGASA, and Yakutsk, most of which are probably chance coincidences rather than objects producing UHECRs in the nearby universe. Four Fermi sources, NGC 4945, ESO 323-G77, NGC 6951, and Cen A, within 100 Mpc have UHECR events within 3.{sup 0}1 from their positions, which could potentially be cosmic-ray accelerators. However, the association can only be confirmed if more UHECRs are preferably detected in these directions.« less