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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 MPP has a leading role in the construction of the large-size telescope (LST) with a mirror diameter of 23 meters.

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 is involved in the construction of the large-size telescopes for the CTA project. The first prototype of an LST is currently being built on La Palma – right beside the two MAGIC telescopes. Six research institutions from five countries have come together for this project. The MPP is responsible for the substructure, the mechanical configuration, the rail system and parts of the camera mounting. The first LST is due for completion in 2017.

Information on the CTA group

News

12/19/2018
The telescopes of the CTA observatory on the southern hemisphere (Image: CTAO/M-A. Besel/IAC (G.P. Diaz)/ESO)

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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10/10/2018
The LST-1 on La Palma is 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 objects and events that hurl out particles of maximum...

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05/23/2018
Installation of mirrors nearly completed: The prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope (LST) with mirrors wrapped in protective covers.

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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02/26/2018
The first telescope in the CTA observatory is ready for mounting the mirrors. (Photo: Th. Schweizer/MPP)

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. This effectively marks the end of the principal work...

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12/13/2017
The LST prototype with mounted 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 model of the about 100 telescopes to be built in...

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09/21/2016
IAC-Direktor Rafael Rebolo (links) und Ulrich Straumann, Geschäftsführender Direktor der CTAO gGmbH, unterzeichnen das Abkommen über den künftigen Standort des nördlichen CTA-Observatoriums. Hinten (von links): Inmaculada Figuero (MINECO), Beatrix Vi

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 Palma, Spain.

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10/14/2015

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 on the island of La Palma. The LST will be one of...

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07/23/2015

The CTA cooperation decided on the future sites of the Cherenkov Telescope Array: The telescopes will be located at the Paranal Observatory of ESO (European Southern Observatory) in Chile and on La Palma, Spain. There the IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) runs the Roque de los Muchachos...

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Group members

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Green, David, Dr.

Scientist 289

Hahn, Alexander

PhD Student 421

Heckmann, Lea

PhD Student 259

Huetten, Moritz, Dr.

Scientist 289

Mazin, Daniel, Dr.

Scientist 255

Mirzoyan, Razmik, Dr.

Scientist 328

Paneque, David, Dr.

Scientist 349

Schweizer, Thomas, Dr.

Scientist 227

Strom, Derek, Dr.

Scientist 422

Suda, Yusuke, Dr.

Scientist 575

Teshima, Masahiro, Dr.

Director 301

Vovk, Ievgen, Dr.

Scientist 255

Werner, Diana

Secretary 364

Will, Martin, Dr.

Scientist 291

Key publications

Search response: 6 publications match your query. Listing starts with latest publication first: (4 - 6)


MPP-2013-98 Potential of EBL and cosmology studies with the Cherenkov Telescope Array, Daniel Mazin, Martin Raue, Bagmeet Behera, Susumu Inoue, et al., Astropart.Phys. 43 (2013) 241-251 (2013-03), (External full text link).
[CTA], [Article]

MPP-2010-141 Results of the prototype camera for FACT , H. Anderhub, M. Backes, E. Lorenz et al, (External full text link).
[CTA], [Article]

MPP-2009-245 Selection of photomultipliers for the Cherenkov Telescope Array facility, M. Shayduk, R. Mirzoyan, V. Zimmer, E. Lorenz, T. Schweizer, M. Teshima, Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A 617, 11th Pisa Meeting on Advanced Detectors (2010) 422-423, (External full text link).
[CTA], [Article]


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