Research Article

Neutrino emission from the direction of the blazar TXS 0506+056 prior to the IceCube-170922A alert

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Science  13 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6398, pp. 147-151
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2890

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Neutrino emission from a flaring blazar

Neutrinos interact only very weakly with matter, but giant detectors have succeeded in detecting small numbers of astrophysical neutrinos. Aside from a diffuse background, only two individual sources have been identified: the Sun and a nearby supernova in 1987. A multiteam collaboration detected a high-energy neutrino event whose arrival direction was consistent with a known blazar—a type of quasar with a relativistic jet oriented directly along our line of sight. The blazar, TXS 0506+056, was found to be undergoing a gamma-ray flare, prompting an extensive multiwavelength campaign. Motivated by this discovery, the IceCube collaboration examined lower-energy neutrinos detected over the previous several years, finding an excess emission at the location of the blazar. Thus, blazars are a source of astrophysical neutrinos.

Science, this issue p. 147, p. eaat1378