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.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Abraham, J., Abreu, P., Aglietta, M., Aguirre, C., Allard, D., Allekotte, I., Allen, J., Allison, P., Alvarez, C., Alvarez-Muñiz, J., Ambrosio, M., Anchordoqui, L., Andringa, S., Anzalone, A., Aramo, C., Argirò, S., Arisaka, K., Armengaud, E., Arneodo, F., Arqueros, F., Asch, T., Asorey, H., Assis, P., Atulugama, B., Aublin, J., Ave, M., Avila, G., Bäcker, T., Badagnani, D., Barbosa, A., Barnhill, D., Barroso, S., & Bauleo, P. (2007). Correlation of the highest-energy cosmic rays with nearby extragalactic objects. Science, 318 (5852), 938-943. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1151124