Search for Spatial Correlations of Neutrinos with Ultra-high-energy Cosmic Rays

The IceCube Collaboration, The Pierre Auger Collaboration, The Telescope Array Collaboration

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For several decades, the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) has been an unsolved question of high-energy astrophysics. One approach for solving this puzzle is to correlate UHECRs with high-energy neutrinos, since neutrinos are a direct probe of hadronic interactions of cosmic rays and are not deflected by magnetic fields. In this paper, we present three different approaches for correlating the arrival directions of neutrinos with the arrival directions of UHECRs. The neutrino data are provided by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and ANTARES, while the UHECR data with energies above ∼50 EeV are provided by the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array. All experiments provide increased statistics and improved reconstructions with respect to our previous results reported in 2015. The first analysis uses a high-statistics neutrino sample optimized for point-source searches to search for excesses of neutrino clustering in the vicinity of UHECR directions. The second analysis searches for an excess of UHECRs in the direction of the highest-energy neutrinos. The third analysis searches for an excess of pairs of UHECRs and highest-energy neutrinos on different angular scales. None of the analyses have found a significant excess, and previously reported overfluctuations are reduced in significance. Based on these results, we further constrain the neutrino flux spatially correlated with UHECRs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • High energy astrophysics
  • Neutrino astronomy
  • Ultra-high-energy cosmic radiation

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