The Cherenkov Telescope Array Project


Recent discoveries have revealed a Universe rich in objects producing the very highest energy radiation. To try and understand how these immense particle accelerators work, over 800 scientists and engineers from around the world are working together to build a new observatory: the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Two observatories (or arrays) will be built, one placed in each of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, so that the whole sky is covered. Each array will be composed of different telescope types. At the centre will be a few large (23 m diameter) telescopes, with many medium sized telescopes (around 12 m diameter) surrounding them. In addition, in the Southern Hemisphere array there will be many small telescopes (of 4 m diameter) spread over a large area. The three types of telescope are designed to sample the light produced by gamma-rays with different energies. With around 100 telescopes, deployed at two observatories, the ability to observe many objects at once, or focus intently on one, will make CTA the most flexible and most sensitive gamma ray observatory ever. In the video below UK scientists and students introduce the CTA project:

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