Research Article

Multimessenger observations of a flaring blazar coincident with high-energy neutrino IceCube-170922A

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Science  13 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6398, eaat1378
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1378

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

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