CTA – An Advanced Facility for High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy


      The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a new and groundbreaking astronomical observatory built to study the Universe at very-high energies. CTA will detect gamma rays, i.e. light particles about a billion times more energetic than visible light, with unprecedented sensitivity and precision. Observations with the CTA observatory will unveil fascinating new phenomena and revolutionize our understanding of fundamental physical processes at the smallest and largest scales in our Universe.

      CTA will be the world’s largest gamma-ray observatory and DESY is among the main contributors responsible for several of its key components. The instrument will consist of two large arrays of telescopes for complete sky coverage: the Northern array with 25 imaging Cherenkov telescopes on the island of La Palma (Spain), and the Southern observatory with a large array of 100 telescopes to be built in the desert near Paranal, Chile. CTA telescopes will measure simultaneously the weak and extremely short flash of light from particle showers initiated by high-energy gamma rays.

      CTA will be the first open, proposal driven observatory for gamma rays. It is developed and built by an international collaboration with institutes from all over the world. CTA’s headquarters are located in Bologna (Italy) and the CTA Science Management Center is hosted by DESY in Zeuthen.