Research @ KICP
November 24, 2009
VERITAS Discovers Evidence for the Origin of Cosmic Rays
by Simon Swordy and Scott Wakely
The VERITAS collaboration, an international team of astronomers from the US, Canada, UK and Ireland, including KICP senior members Simon Swordy and Scott Wakely, and KICP associate member Lucy Fortson, recently announced the discovery of very high energy (VHE) gamma rays emitted by the starburst galaxy M82 (the Cigar Galaxy). The observed gamma rays have energies more than a trillion times higher than the energy of visible light, and are the highest energy photons ever detected from a galaxy undergoing large amounts of star formation. The discovery was made from data taken over a two-year long observing campaign.
<b>Publication:</b> <a target='_blank' href='http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08557.html'>A connection between star formation activity and cosmic rays in the starburst galaxy M82</a>, <i>The VERITAS Collaboration</i>, Nature (1 November 2009) Letter <br /><br /> <b>Additional references:</b> <a target='_blank' href='http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=115836&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51'>NSF Press Release</a> <br /><br /> <a target='_blank' href='http://veritas.sao.arizona.edu/'>VERITAS website</a>
KICP Members: Lucy Fortson; Simon P. Swordy; Scott P. Wakely
Scientific projects: Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS)