BATAVIA, Illinois – Scientists of the Pierre Auger Observatory, a project to study the highest-energy cosmic rays, will hold a celebration to mark the first physics results and progress on the nearly-completed detector array in Malargüe, Argentina, from November 9 to November 12, 2005. Media representatives wishing to attend should make arrangements as soon as possible, and should begin by contacting Rosa Pacheco at the Pierre Auger Southern Observatory (+54 2627) 471 562, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign-up through the Web site is also available at www.interactions.org/auger/.
The Pierre Auger Observatory is exploring the mystery of high-energy cosmic rays-charged particles showering the earth at energies above 1019 electronvolts, about 10 million times higher than the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator, the Tevatron at Fermilab. There is no scientific consensus on the origin of these highest-energy cosmic rays. To witness these extremely rare events, the observatory is constructing an array of 1600 detectors spread over 3000 square kilometers in Argentina’s Mendoza Province, just east of the Andes Mountains. Each detector contains 3000 gallons of water. The detector array covers an area approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island in the United States. The Observatory collaboration includes more than 370 scientists and engineers from 60 institutions in 16 countries, and the construction cost of approximately $50 million has been shared by the participating countries.
A symposium on Thursday, November 10, will include presentations on the origins of the project, the construction, and the first science results. Guided tours of the Observatory will be given on Friday, November 11. The events will conclude on Saturday, November 12, with a science fair featuring participants from local schools.
For registration, and for information on transportation, hotel accommodations and car rentals, visit www.interactions.org/auger/. For more information on the Pierre Auger Observatory, visit www.auger.org/.
Fermilab, which hosts the project management office of the Pierre Auger Observatory, is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, operated under contract by Universities Research Association, Inc.