Atmospheric effects on extensive air showers observed with the surface detector of the Pierre Auger observatory

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Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Atmospheric parameters, such as pressure (P), temperature (T) and density (ρ ∝ P / T), affect the development of extensive air showers initiated by energetic cosmic rays. We have studied the impact of atmospheric variations on extensive air showers by means of the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The rate of events shows a ∼ 10 % seasonal modulation and ∼ 2 % diurnal one. We find that the observed behaviour is explained by a model including the effects associated with the variations of P and ρ. The former affects the longitudinal development of air showers while the latter influences the Molière radius and hence the lateral distribution of the shower particles. The model is validated with full simulations of extensive air showers using atmospheric profiles measured at the site of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to the following agencies and organizations for financial support: Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Fundación Antorchas, Gobierno De La Provincia de Mendoza, Municipalidad de Malargüe, NDM Holdings and Valle Las Leñas, in gratitude for their continuing cooperation over land access, Argentina; the Australian Research Council; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia (MCT), Brazil; AVCR AV0Z10100502 and AV0Z10100522, GAAV KJB300100801 and KJB100100904, MSMT-CR LA08016, LC527, 1M06002, and MSM0021620859, Czech Republic; Centre de Calcul IN2P3/CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Conseil Régional Ile-de-France, Département Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire (PNC-IN2P3/CNRS), Département Sciences de l’Univers (SDU-INSU/CNRS), France; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF), Finanzministerium Baden-Württemberg, Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR), Italy; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico; Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), The Netherlands; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Grant Nos. 1 P03 D 014 30, N202 090 31/0623, and PAP/218/2006, Poland; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal; Ministry for Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Slovenian Research Agency, Slovenia; Comunidad de Madrid, Consejería de Educación de la Comunidad de Castilla La Mancha, FEDER funds, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Xunta de Galicia, Spain; Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom; Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359, National Science Foundation, Grant No. 0450696, The Grainger Foundation USA; ALFA-EC/ HELEN, European Union 6th Framework Program, Grant No. MEIF-CT-2005-025057, European Union 7th Framework Program, Grant No. PIEF-GA-2008-220240, and UNESCO.

Keywords

  • Atmosphere
  • Extensive air showers
  • UHECR
  • Weather

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