The mass composition of high-energy cosmic rays at energies above 1015 eV can provide crucial information for the understanding of their origin. Air showers were measured simultaneously with the SPASE-2 air shower array and the AMANDA-B10 Cherenkov telescope at the South Pole. This combination has the advantage to sample almost all high-energy shower muons and is thus a new approach to the determination of the cosmic ray composition. The change in the cosmic ray mass composition was measured versus existing data from direct measurements at low energies. Our data show an increase of the mean log atomic mass 〈lnA〉 by about 0.8 between 500 TeV and 5 PeV. This trend of an increasing mass through the "knee" region is robust against a variety of systematic effects.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics