Investigating an angular correlation between nearby starburst galaxies and UHECRs with the Telescope Array experiment
Service de Physique Théorique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
2 Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan
Published online: 17 May 2019
The arrival directions of cosmic rays detected by the Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) with energies above 39 EeV were recently reported to correlate with the positions of 23 nearby starburst galaxies (SBGs): in their best-fit model, 9.7% of the cosmic-ray flux originates from these objects and undergoes angular diffusion on a 12.9o scale. On the other hand, some of the SBGs on their list, including the brightest one (M82), are at northern declinations outside the Auger field of view. Data from detectors in the northern hemisphere would be needed to look for cosmic-ray excesses near these objects. In this work, we tested the Auger best-fit model against data collected by the Telescope Array (TA) in a 9-year period, without trying to re-optimize the model parameters for our dataset in order not to introduce statistical penalties. The resulting test statistic (double loglikelihood ratio) was – 1.00, corresponding to 1.1σ significance among isotropically generated random datasets, and to – 1.4σ significance among ones generated assuming the Auger best-fit model. In other words, our data is still insufficient to conclusively rule out either hypothesis. The ongoing fourfold expansion of TA will collect northern hemisphere data with much more statistics, improving our ability to discriminate between different flux models.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.