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.

Information on the MAGIC Group

News releases


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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Never before have astrophysicists measured light of such high energy from a celestial object so far away. Around 7 billion years ago, a huge explosion occurred at the black hole in the center of a galaxy. This was followed by a burst of high-intensity gamma rays. A number of telescopes, MAGIC…

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Group members

E-mail address:
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Arbet-Engels, Axel, Dr. Postdoc aarbet 289 235
Bautista Sierra, Angela Yulieth Student bautista 312 236
Berti, Alessio Postdoc aberti 227 224
Besenrieder, Jürgen Engineering jhose 224 125
Ceribella, Giovanni, Dr. Postdoc ceribell 291 222
Chai, Yating PhD Student ytchai 312 236
Chon, Gayoung Visiting Scientist gchon 328 232
Giesbrecht Formiga Paiva, Joao Gabriel Visiting Scientist jpaiva 312 236
Green, David, Dr. Postdoc damgreen 289 235
Green, Jarred Gershon PhD Student jgreen 259 233
Hahn, Alexander PhD Student ahahn 421 234
Heckmann, Lea PhD Student heckmann 259 233
Mazin, Daniel, Dr. Senior Scientist mazin 255 110
Mirzoyan, Razmik, Dr. Senior Scientist razmik 328 232
Nozaki, Seiya, Dr. Postdoc nozaki 227 224
Paneque, David, Dr. Senior Scientist dpaneque 349 231
Pirola, Giorgio PhD Student gpirola 259 233
Scherpenberg, Juliane van PhD Student jvsch 421 234
Schmuckermaier, Felix PhD Student fschmuck 485 128
Schweizer, Thomas, Dr. Senior Scientist tschweiz 291 222
Silvestri, Giuseppe Visiting Scientist silvestr 259 233
Strom, Derek, Dr. Engineering dstrom 422 332
Teshima, Masahiro, Dr. Director mteshima 301 217
Werner, Diana Secretary dwerner 364 215
Will, Martin, Dr. Postdoc mwill 291 222

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