CTA – Cherenkov Telescope Array

Gamma rays give astrophysicists a completely different perspective on celestial objects than, say, optical light, infrared radiation or radio waves. They provide information on high-energy processes in the universe, such as black holes and supernova remnants.

A new observatory is being built to expand the options for observing gamma rays: The planned Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) consists of 120 individual telescopes that detect different gamma ray ranges, covering a wide energy spectrum. This will make it possible to capture even more details from fascinating celestial objects.
The observatory is being constructed at two locations, in the northern and southern hemispheres, so that the whole night sky is covered. There will be about 20 telescopes arranged near MAGIC on La Palma, and another 100 telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, operated by ESO.

The project is the responsibility of an international collaboration consisting of some 800 scientists and engineers around the world. The largest telescope type in the array is the LST (Large-Sized Telescope) with a mirror diameter of 23 meters. The MPP has a leading role in the LST development.

The LST records low-energy gamma rays in the range of 20 to 200 gigaelectronvolts. This will be used to study black holes at the center of far distant galaxies, as well as binary star systems and pulsars.

The smaller telescopes of 12 and 8 meters in diameter will capture higher-energy gamma rays.

First prototype on La Palma

The Max Planck Institute for Physics has been involved in the construction of the first LST prototype. The LST-1 was built right beside the two MAGIC telescopes and inaugurated in 2018. Six research institutions from five countries had joined to co-operate in the LST-1 project.

The MPP was responsible for the substructure, the mechanical configuration, the rail system and parts of the camera mounting.

CTA at the MPP

The LST-4 is one of the three telescopes currently under construction at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma (Photo: Alice Donini)

Under construction: New Cherenkov telescopes on La Palma

The LST-1 is getting company. The prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope (LST) was previously the sole representative of this type of telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma. Construction of the three remaining LST-2, LST-3…

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The LST-1 on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain (Image: CTAO gGmbH)

LST-1 observes radio quasar OP 313 with highest gamma radiation ever measured

The new Cherenkov telescope LST-1 on La Palma announces its first scientific discovery: while observing the radio quasar OP 313, the telescope registered radiation of over 100 gigaelectronvolts - the highest-energy gamma radiation ever measured from…

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The LST-1 on the Canary Island of La Palma (Photo: Otger Ballester/IFAE)

LST receives signals from the Crab Pulsar

Following its inauguration in October 2018, the first LST (Large-Sized Telescope) is currently in the commissioning phase. The LST-1 will commence research operations in 2021. But the imposing gamma-ray telescope has already provided an important…

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The telescopes of the CTA observatory on the southern hemisphere (Image: CTAO/M-A. Besel/IAC (G.P. Diaz)/ESO)

Final agreement for CTA southern hemisphere array in Chile

On 19 December 2018, the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) Council and European Southern Observatory (ESO) signed the final agreements needed for CTA’s southern hemisphere array to be hosted near ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.

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The LST-1 on La Palma is the first telescope of the CTA observatory.

The curtain goes up on the first telescope of the CTA Observatory

On 10 October 2018, the LST-1 (Large-Sized Telescope) will be inaugurated in the Canary Islands in La Palma. It is the first of over 100 planned telescopes overall in the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). The instruments are designed to capture…

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Installation of mirrors nearly completed: The prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope (LST) with mirrors wrapped in protective covers.

Mirrors for the Large-Sized Telescope on La Palma

The mirrors for the largest telescope in the planned CTA observatory are now largely installed. In recent weeks, most of the 198 mirrors have been mounted. The telescope will be completed in the summer and commence operations in October 2018.

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The first telescope in the CTA observatory is ready for mounting the mirrors. (Photo: Th. Schweizer/MPP)

CTA telescope ready for mounting the mirrors

Things are looking up for the first CTA telescope: A recently installed counterweight now ensures that the telescope dish will remain in a vertical position, meaning that the telescope is now ready for mounting the mirror supports and the mirrors.…

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The LST prototype with mounted dish

CTA telescope with dish

After only a few months construction time, the CTA project reached an important milestone: Last week, the mirror mountings were installed on the first Large-Sized Telescope (LST) of the CTA observatory. The LST (Large-Sized Telescope) is the largest…

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Agreement on CTA site on La Palma now signed

On September 19, 2016, the Council of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) concluded negotiations with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) to host CTA’s northern hemisphere array at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La…

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CTA: Laying the first stone of the prototype Large Size Telescope

On October 9th, 2015 the ceremony of the stone laying for the biggest Cherenkov telescope in the northern hemisphere, the prototype of the LST (Large Size Telescope) with a diameter of 23 meters, took place at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory…

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E-mail address: e-mail@mpp.mpg.de
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Arbet-Engels, Axel, Dr. Postdoc aarbet 289 A.2.38
Bautista Sierra, Angela Yulieth Student bautista 312 A.2.52
Berti, Alessio Postdoc aberti 227 A.2.50
Ceribella, Giovanni, Dr. Postdoc ceribell 291 A.1.61
Chon, Gayoung Visiting Scientist gchon 328 A.1.23
Gaborit-Reitz, Lucas Student lucasgr 312 A.1.23
Green, David, Dr. Postdoc damgreen 289 A.2.54
Green, Jarred Gershon PhD Student jgreen 259 A.2.44
Hahn, Alexander PhD Student ahahn 421 A.2.46
Heckmann, Lea PhD Student heckmann 259 A.2.44
Jimenez Martinez, Irene, Dr. Postdoc irenejm 364 A.2.52
Mirzoyan, Razmik, Dr. Senior Scientist razmik 328 A.2.34
Nozaki, Seiya, Dr. Postdoc nozaki 227 A.2.50
Oswald-Kloi, Melanie Secretary moswald 364 A.2.43
Paneque, David, Dr. Senior Scientist dpaneque 349 A.2.36
Peresano, Michele, Dr. Postdoc peresano 543 A.2.52
Pirola, Giorgio PhD Student gpirola 259 A.2.44
Schweizer, Thomas, Dr. Senior Scientist tschweiz 291 A.2.32
Teshima, Masahiro, Dr. Director mteshima 301 A.2.41
Wang, Yunhe Student yunhe 312 A.2.52
Werner, Diana Secretary dwerner 364 A.2.43
Will, Martin, Dr. Postdoc mwill 291 A.1.61

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    Search response: 12 publications match your query. Listing starts with latest publication first: (7 - 9)

    MPP-2018-126 Observing small-scale gamma-ray anisotropies with the Cherenkov Telescope Array, Moritz Hütten, Gernot Maier, JCAP 1808 (2018) 032, arxiv:1806.01839 (abs), (pdf), (ps), (External full text link), inSPIRE entry.
    [CTA], [Article]

    MPP-2014-841 The large size telescope of the Cherenkov Telescope Array , G. Ambrosi et al, The CTA-LST collaboration, (External full text link).
    [CTA], [Conference-Paper]

    MPP-2013-425 Introducing the CTA concept, The CTA collaboration, Astropart.Phys. 43 (2013) 3-18, (External full text link).
    [CTA], [Article]