Search for Point-like Sources of Ultra-high Energy Neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory and Improved Limit on the Diffuse Flux of Tau Neutrinos
ABSTRACT The surface detector array of the Pierre Auger Observatory can detect neutrinos with energy E ν between 10 17 eV and 10 20 eV from point-like sources across the sky south of +55° and north of –65° declinations. A search has been performed for highly inclined extensive air showers produced by the interaction of neutrinos of all flavors in the atmosphere (downward-going neutrinos), and by the decay of tau leptons originating from tau neutrino interactions in Earth's crust (Earth-skimming neutrinos). No candidate neutrinos have been found in data up to 2010 May 31. This corresponds to an equivalent exposure of ~3.5 years of a full surface detector array for the Earth-skimming channel and ~2 years for the downward-going channel. An improved upper limit on the diffuse flux of tau neutrinos has been derived. Upper limits on the neutrino flux from point-like sources have been derived as a function of the source declination. Assuming a differential neutrino flux k PS · E –2 ν from a point-like source, 90% confidence level upper limits for k PS at the level of ##IMG## [http://ej.iop.org/icons/Entities/ap.gif] ≈ 5 × 10 –7 and 2.5 × 10 –6 GeV cm –2 s –1 have been obtained over a broad range of declinations from the searches for Earth-skimming and downward-going neutrinos, respectively.