UA astrophysicists in international collaboration identify Blazar as source of high-energy neutrinos

Read More

UA Professors Help in Discovery of Potential Cosmic Ray Source

University of Alabama Physics and Astronomy Professors Dawn Williams (IceCube collaboration), Marcos Santander (IceCube & VERITAS collaboration) and William Keel (Kapteyn telescope, SARA observatory) are part of  an international collaboration that identified a blazar as the source of high-energy neutrinos.  A blazar is a super-massive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy whose high-energy jet is directed very nearly towards the Earth.  This is the first time a neutrino arriving at Earth from outside our solar system has been traced back to a recurrent source.  Neutrinos arriving at the Earth are observed from nuclear reactions inside the Sun and were observed from the nearest supernova in modern times in 1987.  The IceCube detector has observed several other neutrinos from outside our solar system over the last several years, but this is the first time a neutrino detected by IceCube was tracked back to its source.  This neutrino was produced in a jet from a super-massive black hole, making it immediately fundamental to understanding how such jets create high-energy particles.

There was an NSF press conference on July 12 2018 announcing this discovery.

The two key science papers released  (of many more to come) can be found here:

Here are some news articles written more for the general public: