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  08-11-2005: AUGER OBSERVATORY IS BEING OPENING: IT WILL HUNT COSMIC RAYS 
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© Copyright 2002 INFN The use of photos is free of charge. Please request authorisation from the INFN Communication Office


Argentina is arranging official welcoming ceremony for the hypertecnological eye that will peer into the Andean sky

From 10th to 12th November, the opening of Auger Observatory, conceived for the study of cosmic rays of very high energy, will take place in Argentina. Auger is the result of an international collaboration that involves about 400 scientists coming from 15 different countries. Among these there is Italy, represented by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics. For Thursday 10, the programme foresees a series of meetings dedicated to the history of Auger project and an analysis of the firsts exsperimental results. During Friday 11 tours to the observatory will be organized. The 12th , the conclusive day there will be a manifestation in which the local schools will be involved.


“Auger experiment represents an important scientific engagement in which Infn participates with researchers of eight different structures. It is without doubts the widest collaboration in the field of cosmic rays physics and it aims to clarify the origins of the most energetic particles that furrow the universe. It represents in the end an important initiative for the development of Latin America” declares Roberto Petronzio, President of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics.

As a regular and continuous rain, cosmic rays flow into Earth since its origins and more than 100 per second fall on a surface of a square metre. It’s a heterogeneous swarm, made up most of all of protons and nuclei with positive electric charge. Their origin is yet in part unknown, even if it is believed that they can derive from cosmic phenomena as explosion of supernovae: wide dimensions stars that end their lives throw enormous quantities of matter. Cosmic rays would be made up in part just of charged particles to which the shockwave of the explosion would confer enormous accelerations. Once near to the Earth, the primary cosmic rays collide against the molecules of the atmosphere, producing particles with an energy inferior than the original. These particles, called secondary cosmic rays, generate like in a falls process other particles with an energy so inferior, up to reach so short energies that the chain events brakes.

Auger has been built in the heart of the Argentina pampa, in a wide level region on 1400 height and its aim is to measure flux, direction and composition of cosmic rays of 1020 elettron-volt or even higher energy. They are cosmic rays of enormous energy and their quantity is very limited. Studying them is extremely interesting because they can provide information on the nature, distance and distribution of the sources that generate them, apart information on the nature of the particles the cosmic rays are made of.

But how does this sophisticated technological eye work? We can define Auger an hybrid detector. It uses in fact two different experimental techniques: surface detectors and telescopes for the measure of the fluorescence light. “Auger avails of 1600 detectors disseminated on a surface of three thousand square kilometres”, explain Giorgio Matthiae, co-spokesman “their aim is to detect the crossing of the cosmic swarm. Afterwards they transmit via radio an electronic signal to the central laboratory of the Observatory. During the night, it is the turn of the fluorescence telescopes: thy pick up the weak ultraviolet radiation emitted by the nitrogen molecules of the atmosphere, excited by the crossing of the cosmic swarm. The comparison of the obtained data allows to value the energy and the coming direction of the primary cosmic beam. In this way we can obtain new and precious information on yet unknown aspect of the nature of Universe.


 RELATED SITES 
http://www.auger.org/

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