The H.E.S.S. telescopes

      H.E.S.S. is a system of Cherenkov Telescopes located in the Khomas Highland in Namibia. It is targeted at the observation of very high energy gamma rays (>100 GeV) produced in violent processes in the universe. Being in the southern hemisphere, H.E.S.S. is very well located for observations of gamma-ray sources within our galaxy, the Milky Way (see image). The H.E.S.S. group in Zeuthen is working on pulsar wind nebulae, the Magellanic Clouds, stellar bow shocks and the search for time-variable gamma-ray outbursts.

      The H.E.S.S. experiment has been operational with four 12-meter telescopes since 2003 and has opened a new window to the universe. Besides Milky Way sources, it has a rich and wide physics program, covering also outbursts in very distant galaxies and fundamental physics questions related to dark matter and Lorentz invariance effects as predicted by loop quantum gravity.

      In 2012, a fifth telescope was inaugurated. With its diameter of 28 meters, it is the biggest of its kind worldwide. The group in Zeuthen has contributed strongly to the data acquisition and analysis tools for this new telescope. In 2015/16, the cameras of the four old 12-meter telescopes were modernised. Coordinated by DESY, the upgrade replaced the camera electronics, ventilation and pneumatic systems. It was built and deployed in collaboration with other institutes and local partners in Namibia.

      Check out the H.E.S.S. source of the month archive for a selection of recent discoveries and follow H.E.S.S. on Twitter and Facebook.