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A.J. Heroux (UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater)
Pointing capabilities of neutrino telescopes, such as AMANDA and IceCube at the South Pole, can be accurately estimated using the high statistics of muons produced in cosmic ray induced showers in the atmosphere. While sources will indeed be seen, the statistics of events will not allow an accurate calibration. By reconstructing tracks of muons, we can look for a deficit in the expected number of events caused by cosmic rays blocked by either the Moon or the Sun. Given the increased area and sensitivity of IceCube over previous neutrino experiments, we will be able to ‘see’ the shadow of the Moon with a significance of 38.92 sigma in 98 days of continuous observation, compared to its immediate predecessor AMANDA which can observe the shadow with a significance of only 2.34 in the same amount of time. Via this method we will be able to calibrate the array on a monthly basis to ensure that our detection methods are accurate, so we can ensure that true signals are represented as precisely as possible. In this presentation I will illustrate the expected significance for the detection of the Moon and Sun shadows expected in AMANDA and IceCube.
This research was supported by the NSF through an Astronomy and Astrophysics REU site grant (AST-0453442) at UW-Madison.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.