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Title: JUPITER AS A GIANT COSMIC RAY DETECTOR

We explore the feasibility of using the atmosphere of Jupiter to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). The large surface area of Jupiter allows us to probe cosmic rays of higher energies than previously accessible. Cosmic ray extensive air showers in Jupiter's atmosphere could in principle be detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi observatory. In order to be observed, these air showers would need to be oriented toward the Earth, and would need to occur sufficiently high in the atmosphere that the gamma rays can penetrate. We demonstrate that, under these assumptions, Jupiter provides an effective cosmic ray ''detector'' area of 3.3 × 10{sup 7} km{sup 2}. We predict that Fermi-LAT should be able to detect events of energy >10{sup 21} eV with fluence 10{sup –7} erg cm{sup –2} at a rate of about one per month. The observed number of air showers may provide an indirect measure of the flux of cosmic rays ≳ 10{sup 20} eV. Extensive air showers also produce a synchrotron signature that may be measurable by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Simultaneous observations of Jupiter with ALMA and Fermi-LAT could be used to provide broad constraints on the energies of the initiating cosmic rays.
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365822
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 787; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMIC RAY DETECTION; EXTENSIVE AIR SHOWERS; GAMMA RADIATION; JUPITER PLANET; LIMITING VALUES; PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES; PROBES; SATELLITES; SURFACE AREA; TELESCOPES