applicationContext = Production

MAGIC – Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescope

With a reflector diameter of 17 meters each, the two MAGIC telescopes are the most sensitive Cherenkov telescopes in the world, especially in the energy range below 200 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). Their line of sight is directed at objects that emit gamma rays ranging from 30 GeV to 100 TeV (teraelectronvolts). This means that MAGIC can cover an enormous energy spectrum.

The twin telescopes are located 2,200 meters above sea level on the Canary Island of La Palma where the clear skies and lack of light pollution make for optimal observing conditions. The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) leads the international collaboration of about 165 astrophysicists from 24 research institutions in eleven countries. Together, they are responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the telescopes. MAGIC allows astrophysicists to obtain first class data for gaining scientific insights into enigmatic objects and the most violent processes in the universe.

The MAGIC telescopes have been in operation since 2003 and 2009 respectively. The MPP played a major role in the development and construction of their mechanical structure, imaging cameras and calibration system.

Since the outset, MAGIC has delivered many valuable scientific discoveries.

MAGIC at the MPP

News releases


In 2003, a success story of astrophysics began on La Palma: 20 years ago in October, the first MAGIC telescope was inaugurated on the Canary Island, a huge instrument with a mirror diameter of 17 meters. Five years later, the twin MAGIC II telescope followed. The two Cherenkov telescopes measure…

Read more

The MAGIC telescopes on La Palma are on the hunt for dark matter. For 233 observational hours, their cameras were pointed at the center of the Milky Way, our home galaxy. Scientists suspect a particularly large accumulation of non-luminous, invisible matter there. However, the search yielded no…

Read more

Julia Summerer has just graduated from high school. She is currently doing an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Physics, more precisely with the "MAGIC" working group. The scientists in this group are working on two large telescopes of an international research collaboration on the Canary…

Read more

Nova outbursts are apparently a source for cosmic rays

MAGIC telescopes observe nova explosion

The MAGIC telescopes have observed the nova RS Ophiuchi shining brightly in gamma rays at extremely high energy. The Gamma rays emanate from protons that are accelerated to very high energies in the shock front following the explosion. This suggests that novae are also a source of the ubiquitous…

Read more

Messier M87 is 55 million light years away from Earth. As is the case for probably all galaxies, there is a huge black hole in its center. In 2017, a host of telescopes observed the object over the entire energy spectrum. The spectacular result of this extensive observation campaign was the famous…

Read more

In 2019, the MAGIC telescopes detected the first Gamma Ray Burst at very high energies. This was the most intense gamma-radiation ever obtained from such a cosmic object. But the GRB data have more to offer: with further analyses, the MAGIC scientists could now confirm that the speed of light is…

Read more

MAGIC telescopes observes most violent gamma-ray burst to date

Gamma-ray burst with ultra power

The gamma-ray burst recorded by the two MAGIC telescopes on 14 January 2019 was spectacular: Never before have astrophysicists captured a gamma-ray burst with such high energy – hundreds of billions times more intense than that of visible light. MAGIC did not capture the gamma-ray burst until the…

Read more

For the first time, astrophysicists have localized the source of a high energy cosmic neutrino originating outside the Milky Way. It is highly likely that the neutrino comes from a blazar, an active black hole at the center of a distant galaxy in the Orion constellation. How did the scientists reach…

Read more

15 years ago, the first MAGIC telescope was inaugurated on La Palma in the Canary Islands. In 2009, it was followed by a second telescope of a similar type. Both instruments study cosmic objects that emit high-energy gamma rays, such as supernovae or massive, active black holes in the center of…

Read more

What gives the particles of cosmic radiation, which permeate the universe, their high energy? It is suspected that supernova remains might act as naturally occurring particle accelerators. Cassiopeia A is one of a handful of such objects in our galaxy and has therefore long been regarded as a…

Read more

Group members

E-mail address:
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name e-mail extension
Arbet-Engels, Axel, Dr. aarbet 289
Bautista Sierra, Angela Yulieth bautista 312
Berti, Alessio aberti 227
Besenrieder, Jürgen jhose 224
Ceribella, Giovanni, Dr. ceribell 291
Chai, Yating ytchai 312
Chon, Gayoung gchon 328
Gaborit-Reitz, Lucas lucasgr 312
Giesbrecht Formiga Paiva, Joao Gabriel jpaiva 312
Green, David, Dr. damgreen 289
Green, Jarred Gershon jgreen 259
Hahn, Alexander ahahn 421
Heckmann, Lea heckmann 259
Mazin, Daniel, Dr. mazin 255
Mirzoyan, Razmik, Dr. razmik 328
Nozaki, Seiya, Dr. nozaki 227
Paneque, David, Dr. dpaneque 349
Pirola, Giorgio gpirola 259
Scherpenberg, Juliane van jvsch 421
Schmuckermaier, Felix fschmuck 485
Schweizer, Thomas, Dr. tschweiz 291
Strom, Derek, Dr. dstrom 422
Teshima, Masahiro, Dr. mteshima 301
Wang, Yunhe yunhe 312
Werner, Diana dwerner 364
Will, Martin, Dr. mwill 291

Key publications

Detection of very high energy gamma-ray emission from the gravitationally-lensed blazar QSO B0218+357 with the MAGIC telescopes
MAGIC Collaboration

Teraelectronvolt pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar detected by MAGIC
MAGIC Collaboration
Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 585 (January 2016)

Very high Energy γ-Ray from the universe’s middle age: Detection of the z = 0.940 Blazar PKS 1441+25 with MAGIC
Magic Collaboration
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 815:L23 (8pp), 2015 December 20