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  1. Abstract

    In this paper, we present the first high‐speed video observation of a cloud‐to‐ground lightning flash and its associated downward‐directed Terrestrial Gamma‐ray Flash (TGF). The optical emission of the event was observed by a high‐speed video camera running at 40,000 frames per second in conjunction with the Telescope Array Surface Detector, Lightning Mapping Array, interferometer, electric‐field fast antenna, and the National Lightning Detection Network. The cloud‐to‐ground flash associated with the observed TGF was formed by a fast downward leader followed by a very intense return stroke peak current of −154 kA. The TGF occurred while the downward leader was below cloud base, and even when it was halfway in its propagation to ground. The suite of gamma‐ray and lightning instruments, timing resolution, and source proximity offer us detailed information and therefore a unique look at the TGF phenomena.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. Telescope Array (TA) is the largest ultrahigh energy cosmic-ray (UHECR) observatory in the Northern Hemisphere. It explores the origin of UHECRs by measuring their energy spectrum, arrival-direction distribution, and mass composition using a surface detector (SD) array covering approximately 700 km and fluorescence detector (FD) stations. TA has found evidence for a cluster of cosmic rays with energies greater than 57 EeV. In order to confirm this evidence with more data, it is necessary to increase the data collection rate. We have begun building an expansion of TA that we call TAx4. In this paper, we explain the motivation, design, technical features, and expected performance of the TAx4 SD. We also present TAx4’s current status and examples of the data that have already been collected. 
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  4. We report on a measurement of the cosmic-ray composition by the Telescope Array Low-energy Extension (TALE) air fluorescence detector (FD). By making use of the Cherenkov light signal in addition to air fluorescence light from cosmic-ray (CR)-induced extensive air showers, the TALE FD can measure the properties of the cosmic rays with energies as low as ~2 PeV and exceeding 1 EeV. In this paper, we present results on the measurement of ${X}_{\max }$ distributions of showers observed over this energy range. Data collected over a period of ~4 yr were analyzed for this study. The resulting ${X}_{\max }$ distributions are compared to the Monte Carlo (MC) simulated data distributions for primary cosmic rays with varying composition and a four-component fit is performed. The comparison and fit are performed for energy bins, of width 0.1 or 0.2 in ${\mathrm{log}}_{10}(E/\mathrm{eV})$, spanning the full range of the measured energies. We also examine the mean ${X}_{\max }$ value as a function of energy for cosmic rays with energies greater than 1015.8 eV. Below 1017.3 eV, the slope of the mean ${X}_{\max }$ as a function of energy (the elongation rate) for the data is significantly smaller than that of all elements in the models, indicating that the composition is becoming heavier with energy in this energy range. This is consistent with a rigidity-dependent cutoff of events from Galactic sources. Finally, an increase in the ${X}_{\max }$ elongation rate is observed at energies just above 1017 eV, indicating another change in the cosmic-ray composition. 
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