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1.
Latest results from the searches for ultra-high-energy photons and neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Marcus Niechciol, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory is the largest air-shower experiment in the world, offering an unprecedented exposure not only to ultra-high-energy (UHE, �>10^17 eV) cosmic rays, but also to UHE neutral particles, specifically photons and neutrinos. Since the beginning of data taking almost 20 years ago, a number of searches for UHE photons and neutrinos using the different detector systems of the Observatory have been carried out. These searches led to some of the most stringent upper limits on the diffuse—i.e., direction-independent, unresolved—fluxes of photons and neutrinos in the UHE regime. These limits severely constrain current models for the origin of UHE cosmic rays and underline the capabilities of the Pierre Auger Observatory and its leading role in the context of multimessenger astronomy at the highest energies. In this contribution, we give an overview of the current activities concerning searches for UHE photons and neutrinos in the data from the Pierre Auger Observatory. The latest results of the searches for diffuse fluxes of photons and neutrinos will be shown. Furthermore, the follow- up searches for UHE photons and neutrinos in association with transient events, such as gravitational wave events, will be summarized. In addition, future perspectives in view of the ongoing AugerPrime detector upgrade will be discussed, which will further improve the sensitivity of the Pierre Auger Observatory to neutral particles at the highest energies.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, AugerPrime, multimessenger astronomy
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 924; Downloads: 6
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2.
Performance of the 433 m surface array of the Pierre Auger Observatory
G. Silli, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory, located in western Argentina, is the world's largest cosmic-ray observatory. While it was originally built to study the cosmic-ray flux above 10^18.5 eV, several enhancements have reduced this energy threshold. One such enhancement is a surface array composed of a triangular grid of 19 water-Cherenkov detectors separated by 433 m (SD-433) to explore the energies down to about 10^16 eV. We are developing two research lines employing the SD-433. Firstly, we will measure the energy spectrum in a region where previous experiments have shown evidence of the second knee. Secondly, we will search for ultra-high energy photons to study PeV cosmic-ray sources residing in the Galactic center. In this work, we introduce the SD-433 and we show that it is fully efficient above 5×10^16 eV for hadronic primaries with θ<45∘. Using seven years of data, we present the parametrization of the lateral distribution function of measured signals. Finally, we show that an angular resolution of 1.8∘ (0.5∘) can be attained at the lowest (highest) primary energies. Our study lays the goundmark for measurements in the energy range above 10^16 eV by utilizing the SD-433 and thus expanding the scientific output of the Auger surface detector.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, SD-433, indirect detection, surface detection, low energy extension, ultra-high energy, cosmic rays, energy spectrum, photons, multimessenger
Published in RUNG: 04.10.2023; Views: 1060; Downloads: 5
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3.
Telescope Array Combined Fit to Cosmic Ray Spectrum and Composition
D. Bergman, Jon Paul Lundquist, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: We present the result of fits of an astrophysical model of UHECR sources to the energy spectrum measured using the Telescope Array (TA) surface detectors and the composition data measured by TA fluorescence detectors in stereo mode. The astrophysical model consists of identical sources, uniformly distributed with a density which evolves with age, where groups of nuclei with varying fractions are accelerated producing a power law source with a rigidity-dependent cutoff. The model includes the propagation effects of photo-pion production, photo-nuclear disintegration and general energy loss from universal expansion. Comparison of model data with detector data in both the energy and the Xmax distributions is done via a forward-folding description of detector effects. A prediction of the cosmogenic neutrino flux at Earth resulting from the cosmic rays produced in the model with these fit values is also presented. The predicted flux is considerably higher than other similar fits to Auger data have previously predicted.
Keywords: Telescope Array, indirect detection, stereo detection, fluorescence detection, ultra-high energy, cosmic rays, energy spectrum, composition, combined fit, cosmogenic neutrinos, multimessenger
Published in RUNG: 02.10.2023; Views: 1020; Downloads: 5
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4.
Follow-up Search for UHE Photons from Gravitational Wave Sources with the Pierre Auger Observatory
P. Ruehl, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Multimessenger astronomy has become increasingly important during the past decade. Some astronomical objects have already been successfully observed in the light of multiple messenger signals, allowing for a much deeper understanding of their physical properties. The Pierre Auger Observatory has taken part in multimessenger astronomy with an exhaustive exploration of the ultra-high-energy sky. In this contribution, for the first time, a search for UHE photons from the sources of gravitational waves is presented. Interactions with the cosmic background radiation fields are expected to attenuate any possible flux of ultra-high-energy photons from distant sources and a non-negligible background of air shower events with hadronic origin makes an unambiguous identification of primary photons a challenging task. In the analysis presented here, a selection strategy is applied to both GW sources and air shower events aiming to provide maximum sensitivity to a possible photon signal. At the same time, a window is kept open for hypothetical new-physics processes, which might allow for much larger interaction lengths of photons in the extragalactic medium. Preliminary results on the UHE photon fluence from a selection of GW sources, including the binary neutron star merger GW170817 are presented.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, indirect detection, fluorescence detection, ultra-high energy, photons, cosmic rays, anisotropy, gravitational waves, multimessenger
Published in RUNG: 29.09.2023; Views: 949; Downloads: 6
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