Science papers describe first source of high-energy neutrinos by the first successful multimessenger campaign involving neutrinos

Two papers published in Science on July 12, 2018, provided the first evidence for a known blazar as a source of high-energy neutrinos detected by IceCube. This blazar, designated by astronomers as TXS 0506+056, was singled out following a neutrino alert sent by IceCube on September 22, 2017. IceCube broadcast coordinates of that alert to telescopes worldwide for follow-up observations. Gamma-ray observatories, including NASA’s orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescope (MAGIC) in the Canary Islands, detected a flare of high-energy gamma rays associated with TXS 0506+056, a convergence of observations that convincingly implicated the blazar as the most likely source. Read more here, here, and here.

Science cover
Artist’s impression of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica on the 13 July 2018 cover of Science. Spherical digital optical modules (DOMs), each about 35 centimeters in diameter, are positioned up to 2.5 kilometers deep in the ice. More than 5,000 DOMs make up a cubic-kilometer detector weighing more than a billion tons. The DOMs detect the faint flash of light created when a high-energy neutrino interacts with the ice. Credit: Science; Jamie Yang and Savannah Guthrie, IceCube/NSF