Do high energy astrophysical neutrinos trace star formation?

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19 Scopus citations


The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has provided the first map of the high energy (∼ 0.01-1 PeV) sky in neutrinos. Since neutrinos propagate undeflected, their arrival direction is an important identifier for sources of high energy particle acceleration. Reconstructed arrival directions are consistent with an extragalactic origin, with possibly a galactic component, of the neutrino flux. We present a statistical analysis of positional coincidences of the IceCube neutrinos with known astrophysical objects from several catalogs. When considering starburst galaxies with the highest flux in gamma-rays and infrared radiation, up to n=8 coincidences are found, representing an excess over the ∼4 predicted for the randomized, or ''null'' distribution. The probability that this excess is realized in the null case, the p-value, is p=0.042. This value falls to p=0.003 for a partial subset of gamma-ray-detected starburst galaxies and superbubble regions in the galactic neighborhood. Therefore, it is possible that starburst galaxies, and the typically hundreds of superbubble regions within them, might account for a portion of IceCube neutrinos. The physical plausibility of such correlation is discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number029
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015


  • gamma ray experiments
  • neutrino astronomy
  • neutrino experiments
  • star formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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