A measurement of time-averaged aerosol optical depth using air-showers observed in stereo by HiRes

R. U. Abbasi, T. Abu-Zayyad, J. F. Amann, G. Archbold, R. Atkins, K. Belov, J. W. Belz, S. Benzvi, D. R. Bergman, J. H. Boyer, C. T. Cannon, Z. Cao, B. M. Connolly, Y. Fedorova, C. B. Finley, W. F. Hanlon, C. M. Hoffman, M. H. Holzscheiter, G. A. Hughes, P. HüntemeyerC. C.H. Jui, M. A. Kirn, B. C. Knapp, E. C. Loh, N. Manago, E. J. Mannel, K. Martens, J. A.J. Matthews, J. N. Matthews, A. O'Neill, K. Reil, M. D. Roberts, S. R. Schnetzer, M. Seman, G. Sinnis, J. D. Smith, P. Sokolsky, C. Song, R. W. Springer, B. T. Stokes, S. B. Thomas, G. B. Thomson, D. Tupa, S. Westerhoff, L. R. Wiencke, A. Zech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Air fluorescence measurements of cosmic ray energy must be corrected for attenuation of the atmosphere. In this paper, we show that the air-showers themselves can yield a measurement of the aerosol attenuation in terms of optical depth, time-averaged over extended periods. Although the technique lacks statistical power to make the critical hourly measurements that only specialized active instruments can achieve, we note the technique does not depend on absolute calibration of the detector hardware, and requires no additional equipment beyond the fluorescence detectors that observe the air showers. This paper describes the technique, and presents results based on analysis of 1258 air-showers observed in stereo by the High Resolution Fly's Eye over a four year span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Aerosols
  • Atmosphere
  • Extensive air-showers
  • HiRes


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