Press Room


July 3, 2007

Kurt Riesselmann, Fermilab, 630-840-3351,
Paul Mantsch, Fermilab, Pierre Auger Collaboration, 630-840-4940,

Images are available at:

For immediate release

Auger Observatory shares cosmic-ray data with public, students

MALARGÜE, Argentina -- Scientists of the Pierre Auger Collaboration will begin today (July 3) the public release of one percent of the cosmic-ray events recorded by the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. New cosmic-ray data-about 70 events per day-will be posted on a daily basis. The data and their visualizations are available at and

The international Pierre Auger Collaboration, which includes scientists from 17 countries, explores the origins of extremely rare ultra-high-energy cosmic rays-particles from space that hit Earth, some with energies 100 million times higher than those made by the world's highest-energy particle accelerator, the Tevatron at Fermilab. These are the highest-energy particles ever recorded in nature. When such a particle hits the atmosphere it creates an air shower that can contain 200 billion particles by the time it reaches the ground.

The one-percent release is part of the worldwide Pierre Auger education and outreach program. It will allow teachers to expose students to real scientific data and the breathtaking processes that take place in the cosmos, hurling charged particles toward Earth. The two Web sites provide the data both as graphical displays and in tabular form. For each cosmic-ray air shower, the Web sites show the energy and direction of the incoming cosmic-ray particle. The public data provides information on cosmic-rays with extremely high energy, up to 5 x 10^19 electron volts (eV).

When construction is complete near the end of the year, the Pierre Auger Observatory will extend over 3,000 square kilometers (~1,000 square miles) in Argentina's Mendoza Province, just east of the Andes Mountains. The full observatory will consist of an array of 1,600 detectors that record the arrival of air showers on the ground. Information gathered by the detectors is transmitted to a central data acquisition system using solar-powered cellular phone technology. Surrounding the detector array and looking toward its center is a set of 24 telescopes that-on clear moonless nights-observe the ultraviolet fluorescence light produced as shower particles travel through the atmosphere.

The Pierre Auger collaboration includes more than 370 scientists and engineers from 60 institutions in 17 countries, which share the construction cost of approximately $50 million (US). The international funding agencies contributing to the Pierre Auger Observatory as well as the participating institutions are listed below.

Notes for editors:

Fermilab, which hosts the project management office for the Pierre Auger Observatory, is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, operated under contract by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC.

Auger Observatory funding agencies (by country):


Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica
La Provincia de Mendoza

The Australian Research Council

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos do Ministerio da Ciencia e Tecnologia (FINEP / MCT)
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)

Czech Republic
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Conseil Régional Ile-de-France
Département Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire (PNC-IN2P3/CNRS)
Département Sciences de l'Univers (SDU-INSU/CNRS)

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Finanzministerium Baden-Württemberg
Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF)
Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Nordrhein Westfalen
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)

Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM)

Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Ministry for Higher Education, Science, and Technology
Slovenian Research Agency

Comunidad de Madrid
Consejería de Educacíon de la Comunidad de Castilla La Mancha
FEDER funds
Ministerio de Educacíon y Ciencia
Xunta de Galicia

United Kingdom
Science and Technology Facilities Council

United States
Department of Energy
National Science Foundation
The Grainger Foundation

Auger Observatory collaborating institutions (by country):

Centro Atómico Bariloche (CNEA); Instituto Balseiro (CNEA & UNCuyo); CONICET
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (CONICET)
Laboratorio Tandar (CNEA); CONICET; Univ. Tec. Nac. (Reg. Buenos Aires)
Pierre Auger Southern Observatory
Universidad Nacional de la Plata; IFLP/CONICET; Univ. Nac. de Buenos Aires
Universidad Tecnológica Nacional - Regionales Mendoza y San Rafael

University of Adelaide

Universidad Catolica de Bolivia
Universidad Mayor de San Andrés

Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (CBPF)
Universidade de Sao Paulo, Inst. de Fisica
Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto Astronomico e Geofisico
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana (UEFS)
Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB)
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Universidade Federal Fluminense

Czech Republic
Charles University Prague, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics
Institute of Physics (FZU) of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Institut de Physique Nucléaire, Orsay (IPNO)
Laboratoire AstroParticule et Cosmologie Université Paris VII
Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire (LAL), Orsay
Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Energies (LPNHE), Université Paris 6
Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie (LPSC) - Grenoble

Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe - Institut für Kernphysik
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe - Institut für Prozessdatenverarbeitung und Elektronik
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie and Universität Bonn
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen
Universität Karlsruhe (TH) - Institut für Experimentelle Kernphysik (IEKP)
Universität Siegen

Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and INFN, L'Aquila
Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and Sezione INFN, Lecce
Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and Sezione INFN, Milano
Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and Sezione INFN, Napoli
Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università di Roma "Tor Vergata" and Sezione INFN Roma II
Dipartimento di Fisica Sperimentale dell'Università and Sezione INFN, Torino
Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (INAF), Dipartimento di Fisica Generale dell'Università
Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, INFN
Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri
Sezione INFN di Catania & Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia dell'Università, Catania

Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP)
Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN (CINVESTAV)
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP), Radboud Universiteit
Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Nationaal Instituut voor Kernfysica en Hoge Energie Fysica (NIKHEF)
Stichting Astronomisch Onderzoek in Nederland (ASTRON), Dwingeloo

The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences
University of Łódź

Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (LIP)

University of Nova Gorica

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
University of Granada

United Kingdom
Oxford University
University of Leeds, Institute of Integrated Information Systems
University of Leeds, School of Physics & Astronomy

United States
Argonne National Laboratory
Case Western Reserve University
Colorado State University
Columbia University
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Louisiana State University
Michigan Technological University
Northeastern University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Southern University
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska
University of New Mexico
University of Utah
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology of Hanoi (INST)


last modified 06/29/2007   email Fermilab