Overview and First Results of EUSO-SPB2
August 16, 2023
Observing ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) and very high energy (VHE) neutrinos from space
is a promising way to measure their extremely low fluxes by significantly increasing the observed
volume. The Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon 2 (EUSO-SPB2), the next, most advanced pathfinder for such a mission, was launched May 13th 2023 from Wanaka New Zealand. The pioneering EUSO-SPB2 payload flew a Fluorescence Telescope (FT) with a PMT camera pointed in nadir to record fluorescence light from cosmic ray extensive air shower (EAS) with energies above 1 EeV, and a Cherenkov telescope (CT) with a silicon photomultiplier focal surface for observing Cherenkov emission of cosmic ray EAS with energies above 1 PeV with an above-the-limb geometry and of PeV-scale EAS initiated by neutrino-sourced tau decay. As the CT is a novel instrument, optical background measurements for space neutrino observation are an important goal of the mission. Any data collected during the mission will influence and improve the development of a space-based multi-messenger observatory such as the Probe of Extreme Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (POEMMA). We present an overview of the EUSO-SPB2 mission and its science goals and summarize results as available, from the 2023 flight.
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