Di Sciascio, G (reprint author), Ist Nazl Fis Nucl, Sez Roma Tor Vergata, Via Ric Sci 1, I-00133 Rome, Italy.
Measuring the anisotropy of the arrival direction distribution of cosmic rays provides important information on the propagation mechanisms and the identification of their sources. In fact, the flux of cosmic rays is thought to be dependent on the arrival direction only due to the presence of nearby cosmic ray sources or particular magnetic-field structures. Recently, the observation of unexpected excesses at TeV energy down to an angular scale as narrow as similar to 10 degrees raised the possibility that the problem of the origin of Galactic cosmic rays may be addressed by studying the anisotropy. The ARGO-YBJ experiment is a full-coverage extensive air showers array, sensitive to cosmic rays with the energy threshold of a few hundred GeV. Searching for small-size deviations from the isotropy, the ARGO-YBJ Collaboration explored the declination region delta similar to -20 degrees-80 degrees, making use of about 3.7 x 10(11) events collected from November 2007 to May 2012. In this paper, the detection of different significant (up to 13 standard deviations) medium-scale anisotropy regions in the arrival directions of cosmic rays is reported. The observation was performed with unprecedented detail. The relative excess intensity with respect to the isotropic flux extends up to 10(-3). The maximum excess occurs for proton energies of 10- 20 TeV, suggesting the presence of unknown features of the magnetic fields the charged cosmic rays propagate through, or some contribution of nearby sources never considered so far. The observation of new weaker few- degree excesses throughout the sky region 195 degrees <= R.A. <= 290 degrees is reported for the first time.