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Welcome to the homepage of the MAGIC Telescopes!

Gamma-ray astronomy at low energies with high sensitivity

The MAGIC Collaboration has built in 2001–2003 a first large atmospheric imaging Cherenkov telescope, MAGIC-I, with a mirror surface of 236 sq.m. and equipped with photomultiplier tubes of optimal efficiency. In 2009, a second telescope of essentially the same characteristics was added; MAGIC-II was installed at a distance of 85m from MAGIC-I. With the accent of these instruments on large mirror surface and best light collection, cosmic gamma-rays at an energy threshold lower than any existing or planned terrestrial gamma-ray telescope have become accessible. So far achieved has been a threshold of 25 GeV.

Breaking News

MAGIC is prominently featured in BBC's "Horizon: How small is the Universe" Horizon plunges down the biggest rabbit-hole in history in search of the smallest thing in the Universe. It is a journey where things don't just become smaller but also a whole lot weirder. Scientists hope to catch a glimpse of miniature black holes, multiple dimensions and even parallel Universes. As they start to explore this wonderland, where nothing is quite what it seems, they may have to rewrite the fundamental laws of time and space.

MAGIC telescopes observe a pulsar at the highest energies yet achieved and strongly challenge current theories for the emission The MAGIC telescopes have been used to observe the pulsar in gamma rays above 50 GeV, an inaccessible energy for most high energy instruments, and have detected periodic pulsed emission at energies as high as 400 GeV. This is 50-100 times higher than predicted by current theoretical models. About one and a half years ago MAGIC detected gamma-rays at higher energy, 100 GeV. Only half a year ago, the VERITAS collaboration detected pulsed gamma rays with energies above 100 GeV that, again, far exceeded expectations. Now, after the analysis of data collected over the last two years, the MAGIC collaboration presents the most detailed and precise measurement of the periodic emission throughout the energy range of 50-400 GeV and shows that the duration of pulses is only one thousandth of a second. The recent measurements by MAGIC, together with those of the orbiting Fermi satellite at much lower energies, provide an uninterrupted spectrum of the pulses from 0.1 GeV to 400 GeV. These clear observational results create major difficulties for most of the existing pulsar theories that predict significantly lower limits for highest energy emission. Read more in the current MAGIC press release

MAGIC status

Located on a mountain top on the Canary island of La Palma, the construction of this world-wide largest telescope (MAGIC-I) has been completed in 2003. Fully operational since 2004, it is run by an international collaboration of 17 institutes (see MAGIC Collaboration). A second telescope, MAGIC-II, on the same site, has been completed and is presently (mid-2009) in the commissioning phase. In large parts, it is a copy of MAGIC-I, but has a more homogeneous camera with more pixels, and a refurbished readout.

The first light ceremony of the MAGIC-II telescope took place on 2009 April 24-25. MAGIC-II is located at a distance of 85 m from the first MAGIC telescope, which has been in operation since 2004. It is expected that the stereo operation of both telescopes will increase the sensitivity of the observatory by ~3 times. For this occasion, a half-day scientific seminar on the MAGIC Project was organized in La Palma on 24 April 2009. The First Light ceremony at the MAGIC site took place in the morning of 25 April 2009. Some of the echos in the press and the material prepared for journalists can be found here.

Job Opportunities

MAGIC aspects

Experience an interactive panoramic tour of MAGIC (March 2008: the MAGIC-II telescope is under construction),

or listen to the cosmic voice of MAGIC,

or inspect a small collection of early raw data: images from early MAGIC events (2003 / 2004).

More Information on MAGIC:

The MAGIC Telescope Project is primarily supported by the following funding agencies:

BMBF = Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Germany)
MPG = Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (Germany)
INFN = Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
MCI = Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (Spain)
SNF = Swiss National Science Foundation (Switzerland)

This page was created by Robert Wagner. Last modification 05.11.2012 by Robert Wagner.
The MAGIC Telescope web pages are hosted at MPI für Physik, Munich. Imprint