Pierre Auger Observatory

Google Sky Model

Viewing Auger Events in Google Sky

With the newer versions of Google Earth (4.2 and up), it is possible to look up at the night sky instead of down at the Earth. Simply, from the Google Earth window, click on the small icon that looks like a planet above the main window (make sure the toolbar is visible; if not, make it visible from within the "View" menu at the top). In this Google Sky mode, you can now view the arrival directions of the most energetic Auger events (at energies beyond 57 EeV), with a 3.1 degree error circle surrounding each direction. Do this by downloading and opening the file Published_Auger_Events_Sky.kmz (remembering not to let the download utility rename the extension to .zip). You can see nearby Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs), flagged by little sun symbols, that correlate well (within 4.8 degrees) with our event arrival directions, and could be sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays. The direction of Centaurus A, the nearest AGN to Earth, is particularly interesting, and layers are part of the model that show radio observations of the Centaurus A object by the Parkes and VLA radio observatories. A screenshot obtained with Google Sky appears below, showing the Centaurus A region.

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