Pierre Auger Observatory

Google Earth-Based Event Display

The 3D nature of Google Earth navigation can be used to good advantage in displaying and exploring actual high-energy cosmic-ray events recorded by the Observatory. An example of such an event is shown in the screenshot below.

The hexagonal pyramids represent surface detector stations with activity, where the size/height of each pyramid is an indication of the activity in the corresponding detector. The yellow line is the reconstructed arrival direction in space of the air shower, and the blue and green triangles represent the fields of view of two nitrogen fluorescence detectors that recorded this event simultaneously. This was a stereo hybrid event ("stereo" because two fluorescence detectors recorded the event, "hybrid" because it was seen simultaneously with the fluorescence and surface detectors).

A library of 17 Auger sample hybrid events can be downloaded from the following file: Events.kmz . Ignore any attempts by any browser uncompression utility to extract the individual files that comprise this archive. Note that some utility like WinZip might insist that it wants to save the file to events.zip instead of .kmz . Force the extension to be .kmz so it will be recognized as a Google Earth object.

If you open up the folder "Events" you can select any of the 17 events for display by checking the box next to the event folder name. The event pictured above is event #9. If you open up the folder "GE event 9", say, you can turn on or off the surface detector signals and separately the nitrogen fluorescence detector signals. Note that event #15 was a "triocular" event (3 fluorescence detectors, or "eyes" saw the event simultaneously), while events #16 and #17 were "quadriocular" events (seen by all 4 eyes).

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