Extending the search for neutrino point sources with iceCube above the horizon
Point source searches with the IceCube neutrino telescope have been restricted to one hemisphere, due to the exclusive selection of upward going events as a way of rejecting the atmospheric muon background. We show that the region above the horizon can be included by suppressing the background through energy-sensitive cuts. This improves the sensitivity above PeV energies, previously not accessible for declinations of more than a few degrees below the horizon due to the absorption of neutrinos in Earth. We present results based on data collected with 22 strings of IceCube, extending its field of view and energy reach for point source searches. No significant excess above the atmospheric background is observed in a sky scan and in tests of source candidates. Upper limits are reported, which for the first time cover point sources in the southern sky up to EeV energies. © 2009 The American Physical Society.