First ground-based measurement of atmospheric Cherenkov light from cosmic rays

F. Aharonian, A. G. Akhperjanian, A. R. Bazer-Bachi, M. Beilicke, W. Benbow, D. Berge, K. Bernlöhr, C. Boisson, O. Bolz, V. Borrel, I. Braun, E. Brion, A. M. Brown, R. Bühler, I. Büsching, S. Carrigan, P. M. Chadwick, L. M. Chounet, G. Coignet, R. CornilsL. Costamante, B. Degrange, H. J. Dickinson, A. Djannati-Ataï, L. O C Drury, G. Dubus, K. Egberts, D. Emmanoulopoulos, P. Espigat, F. Feinstein, E. Ferrero, A. Fiasson, G. Fontaine, Seb Funk, S. Funk, M. Füßling, Y. A. Gallant, B. Giebels, J. F. Glicenstein, B. Glück, P. Goret, C. Hadjichristidis, D. Hauser, M. Hauser, G. Heinzelmann, G. Henri, G. Hermann, J. A. Hinton, A. Hoffmann, W. Hofmann, M. Holleran, S. Hoppe, D. Horns, A. Jacholkowska, O. C. De Jager, E. Kendziorra, M. Kerschhaggl, B. Khélifi, Nu Komin, A. Konopelko, K. Kosack, G. Lamanna, I. J. Latham, R. Le Gallou, A. Lemière, M. Lemoine-Goumard, T. Lohse, J. M. Martin, O. Martineau-Huynh, A. Marcowith, C. Masterson, G. Maurin, T. J L McComb, E. Moulin, M. De Naurois, D. Nedbal, S. J. Nolan, A. Noutsos, J. P. Olive, K. J. Orford, J. L. Osborne, M. Panter, G. Pelletier, S. Pita, G. Pühlhofer, M. Punch, S. Ranchon, B. C. Raubenheimer, M. Raue, S. M. Rayner, A. Reimer, J. Ripken, L. Rob, L. Rolland, S. Rosier-Lees, G. Rowell, V. Sahakian, A. Santangelo, L. Saugé, S. Schlenker, R. Schlickeiser, R. Schröder, U. Schwanke, S. Schwarzburg, S. Schwemmer, A. Shalchi, H. Sol, D. Spangler, F. Spanier, R. Steenkamp, C. Stegmann, G. Superina, P. H. Tam, J. P. Tavernet, R. Terrier, M. Tluczykont, C. Van Eldik, G. Vasileiadis, C. Venter, J. P. Vialle, P. Vincent, H. J. Völk, S. J. Wagner, M. Ward

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Abstract

A recently proposed novel technique for the detection of cosmic rays with arrays of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes is applied to data from the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.). The method relies on the ground-based detection of Cherenkov light emitted from the primary particle prior to its first interaction in the atmosphere. The charge of the primary particle (Z) can be estimated from the intensity of this light, since it is proportional to Z2. Using H.E.S.S. data, an energy spectrum for cosmic-ray iron nuclei in the energy range 13-200 TeV is derived. The reconstructed spectrum is consistent with previous direct measurements and is one of the most precise so far in this energy range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042004
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2007

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