Cherenkov Telescope Array

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a project to build a new generation ground-based gamma-ray observatorium. It will consist of two arrays of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, one being situated at the Northern Hemisphere in La Palma and specialized in the study of extragalactic objects at the lowest possible energies as well as a second array on the Southern Hemisphere in Chile with emphasis on covering the full energy range while concentrating on galactic sources. Thereby not only high energy astrophysics but also cosmology and fundamental physics are studied.

The Northern Hemisphere array will be sensitive to energies between 20 GeV and 20 TeV as it is more limited in size, while the Southern Hemisphere array will span the entire energy range from 20 GeV to 300 TeV. Overall CTA will consist of more than 100 telescopes which will come in three different sizes, namely small, medium and large. The small ones are the most sensitive to high energy gamma-rays and are therefore mostly found on the south observation site, while the others are installed on both sites.

The CTA consortium includes 1420 members from more than 200 institutes in 31 countries. Currently it is responsible for directing the science goals of the observatory and designing the array. The plan is to end the array construction in 2025.

CTA array in the Northern Hemisphere Illustration of the CTA array in the Northern Hemisphere in La Palma. In between the newly build CTA telescopes the telescopes of the MAGIC array are visible in white.

CTA array in the Southern Hemisphere Illustration of the CTA array in the Southern Hemisphere in Chile. The different sizes of the constructed telescopes are clearly visible.

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