Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy

 

Date of this Version

November 2007

Comments

Published in SCIENCE9 NOVEMBER 2007, VOL 318. Copyright 2007. Used by permisssion. www.sciencemag.org

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 6 × 1019 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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