Search for point sources of ultra-high-energy photons with the Telescope Array surface detector

R. U. Abbasi, M. Abe, T. Abu-Zayyad, M. Allen, R. Azuma, E. Barcikowski, J. W. Belz, D. R. Bergman, S. A. Blake, R. Cady, B. G. Cheon, J. Chiba, M. Chikawa, A. Di Matteo, T. Fujii, K. Fujita, R. Fujiwara, M. Fukushima, G. Furlich, W. HanlonM. Hayashi, Y. Hayashi, N. Hayashida, K. Hibino, K. Honda, D. Ikeda, N. Inoue, T. Ishii, R. Ishimori, H. Ito, D. Ivanov, H. M. Jeong, S. Jeong, C. C.H. Jui, K. Kadota, F. Kakimoto, O. Kalashev, K. Kasahara, H. Kawai, S. Kawakami, S. Kawana, K. Kawata, E. Kido, H. B. Kim, J. H. Kim, J. H. Kim, S. Kishigami, V. Kuzmin, M. Kuznetsov, Y. J. Kwon, K. H. Lee, B. Lubsandorzhiev, J. P. Lundquist, K. MacHida, K. Martens, T. Matsuyama, J. N. Matthews, R. Mayta, M. Minamino, K. Mukai, I. Myers, S. Nagataki, K. Nakai, R. Nakamura, T. Nakamura, T. Nonaka, H. Oda, S. Ogio, M. Ohnishi, H. Ohoka, T. Okuda, Y. Omura, M. Ono, R. Onogi, A. Oshima, S. Ozawa, I. H. Park, M. S. Pshirkov, J. Remington, D. C. Rodriguez, G. Rubtsov, D. Ryu, H. Sagawa, R. Sahara, K. Saito, Y. Saito, N. Sakaki, T. Sako, N. Sakurai, L. M. Scott, T. Seki, K. Sekino, P. D. Shah, F. Shibata, T. Shibata, H. Shimodaira, B. K. Shin, H. S. Shin, J. D. Smith, P. Sokolsky, B. T. Stokes, S. R. Stratton, T. A. Stroman, T. Suzawa, Y. Takagi, Y. Takahashi, M. Takamura, M. Takeda, R. Takeishi, A. Taketa, M. Takita, Y. Tameda, H. Tanaka, K. Tanaka, M. Tanaka, Y. Tanoue, S. B. Thomas, G. B. Thomson, P. Tinyakov, I. Tkachev, H. Tokuno, T. Tomida, S. Troitsky, Y. Tsunesada, K. Tsutsumi, Y. Uchihori, S. Udo, F. Urban, T. Wong, K. Yada, M. Yamamoto, H. Yamaoka, K. Yamazaki, J. Yang, K. Yashiro, H. Yoshii, Y. Zhezher, Z. Zundel

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The surface detector (SD) of the Telescope Array (TA) experiment allows us to detect indirectly photons with energies of the order of 1018 eV and higher, and to separate photons from the cosmic ray background. In this paper, we present the results of a blind search for point sources of ultra-high-energy (UHE) photons in the Northern sky using the TA SD data. The photoninduced extensive air showers are separated from the hadron-induced extensive air shower background by means of a multivariate classifier based upon 16 parameters that characterize the air shower events. No significant evidence for the photon point sources is found. The upper limits are set on the flux of photons from each particular direction in the sky within the TA field of view, according to the experiment's angular resolution for photons. The average 95 per cent confidence level upper-limits for the point-source flux of photons with energies greater than 1018, 1018.5, 1019, 1019.5 and 1020 eV are 0.094, 0.029, 0.010, 0.0073 and 0.0058 km-2 yr-1, respectively. For energies higher than 1018.5 eV, the photon point-source limits are set for the first time. Numerical results for each given direction in each energy range are provided as a supplement to this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3984-3993
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Telescope Array experiment is supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through Grants-in-Aid for Priority Area 431, for Specially Promoted Research JP21000002, for Scientific Research (S) JP19104006, for Specially Promoted Research JP15H05693, for Scientific Research (S) JP15H05741, for Science Research (A) JP18H03705 and for Young Scientists (A) JPH26707011; by the joint research program of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR), The University of Tokyo; by the U.S. National Science Foundation awards PHY-0601915, PHY-1404495, PHY-1404502, and PHY-1607727; by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2016R1A2B4014967, 2016R1A5A1013277, 2017K1A4A3015188, 2017R1A2A1A05071429) and Belgian Science Policy under IUAP VII/37 (ULB). The development and application of the multivariate analysis method is supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant No. 17-72-20291 (INR). The foundations of Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke, Willard L. Eccles, and George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles all helped with generous donations. The State of Utah supported the project through its Economic Development Board, and the University of Utah through the Office of the Vice President for Research. The experimental site became available through the cooperation of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Air Force. We appreciate the assistance of the State of Utah and Fillmore offices of the BLM in crafting the Plan of Development for the site. Patrick Shea assisted the collaboration with valuable advice on a variety of topics. The people and the officials of Millard County, Utah have been a source of steadfast and warm support for our work which we greatly appreciate. We are indebted to the Millard County Road Department for their efforts to maintain and clear the roads which get us to our sites. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution from the technical staffs of our home institutions. An allocation of computer time from the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah is gratefully acknowledged. The cluster of the Theoretical Division of INR RAS was used for the numerical part of the work. The lightning data used in this paper was obtained from Vaisala, Inc. We appreciate Vaisala’s academic research policy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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