The MAGIC telescopes


      MAGIC is a system of two gamma-ray telescopes, situated at the Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Island La Palma, at about 2200 m above sea level. It consists of two dishes of 17 metres diameter covered with mirrors, reflecting Cherenkov light into a highly sensitive camera; it is mounted on an orientable support structure. Since the signal collected at ground is faint, the measurement is challenging and can take place only in conditions of full darkness and clear weather.

      These telescopes detect high-energy photons through their interactions in the atmosphere, which result in the production of charged particle showers yielding Cherenkov light. MAGIC is sensitive to galactic and extragalactic gamma-rays with energies between 50 GeV and 30 TeV; it extends and completes direct measurements taken with satellites.

      The telescopes are built to observe different classes of sources, as active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, pulsar wind nebulae, supernova remnants, dwarf satellite galaxies, galaxy clusters, binary systems, and the properties of the intergalactic space. The observations with MAGIC contribute to the topics of astrophysics, high-energy particle physics and cosmology.