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Physics  2009 

JEM-EUSO Science Objectives

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JEM-EUSO, on board of the Japanese Exploration Module of the International Space Station, is being proposed as the first space observatory devoted to UHECR. Its privileged position at 430 km above the Earth surface, combined with a large field of view, innovative optics and a high efficiency focal surface, results in an unprecedented exposure which significantly surpasses that of the largest ground observatories. The large number of events expected above the GZK threshold for photo-pion production by protons will allow the directional identification of individual sources and the determination of their spectra, i.e., doing astronomy and astrophysics through the particle channel. Similar goals can be achieved in the case of light UHECR nuclei. Furthermore, the atmospheric target volume ($\sim 10^{12}$ ton) makes the possibility of neutrino observation a highlight of the mission. Other exploratory objectives include the detection of extreme energy gammas and the study of Galactic magnetic fields as well as global observations of the earth's atmosphere, including clouds, night-glows, plasma discharges, and meteors. In this contribution we will describe the scientific objectives of JEM-EUSO.


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