We evaluate the validity of leading models of the Galactic magnetic field for predicting UHECR deflections from Cen A. The Jansson-Farrar 2012 GMF model (JF12), which includes striated and random components as well as an out-of-plane contribution to the regular field not considered in other models, gives by far the best fit globally to all-sky data including the WMAP7 22 GHz synchrotron emission maps for Q, U & I and 40,000 extragalactic Rotation Measures (RMs). Here we test the models specifically in the Cen A region, using 160 well-measured RMs and the Polarized Intensity from WMAP, nearby but outside the Cen A radio lobes. The JF12 model predictions are in excellent agreement with the observations, justifying confidence in its predictions for deflections of UHECRs from Cen A. We find that up to six of the 69 Auger events above 55 EeV are consistent with originating in Cen A and being deflected ≤ 18°; in this case three are protons and three have Z = 2-4. Others of the 13 events within 18° must have another origin. In order for a random extragalactic magnetic field between Cen A and the Milky Way to appreciably alter these conclusions, its strength would have to be ≳80 nG - far larger than normally imagined.
- active galactic nuclei
- galactic magnetic fields
- ultra high energy cosmic rays
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics