The MAGIC Telescopes

The MAGIC telescopes are located near the top of the Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary island of La Palma. They are currently run by an international collaboration of 24 institutes in 10 countries.

The construction of MAGIC-I was completed in 2003, with a mirror surface of 236 square meters the largest Cherenkov telescope in the world at the time. It is equipped with a camera consisting of photomultiplier tubes of optimal efficiency and has been fully operational since 2004. A second telescope, MAGIC-II, located at the same site at a distance of 85 meters from MAGIC-I, was installed and commissioned in 2010. With emphasis on a large mirror surface and best possible light collection, cosmic gamma-rays are accessible at an energy threshold that was until recently the lowest of any existing terrestrial gamma-ray telescope.

In large parts, MAGIC-II was a copy of the original MAGIC-I, but it had a more homogeneous camera with more pixels, and a refurbished readout. In 2012, in a major upgrade operation mostly concerning MAGIC-I, the two telescopes were made technically identical. The stereo operation of both telescopes has increased the sensitivity of the observatory by a factor of about 3.

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Recent Results from MAGIC Observations

Teraelectronvolt pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar detected by MAGIC.

The Crab Pulsar, PSR J0534+220, is a young neutron star and the most powerful pulsar in our Galaxy. It is one of the few pulsars that has been detected across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio up to gamma rays, and is one of the brightest at high energies. Its pulsar wind nebula, the Crab nebula, is also the standard candle for many experiments detecting gamma-rays, as MAGIC: now after an extensive work collecting ~320 hours of very good quality data observing Crab, MAGIC reported the discovery of the highest pulsed emission ever detected in our Universe, 1.5 Tera Electron Volts(TeV).
The new results probe the Crab Pulsar as the most compact TeV accelerator known to date, and require a revision of the state-of-the-art models proposed to explain how and where gamma-ray pulsed emission up to 1.5 TeV are produced.
Due to the big amount of data used for this research it was also possible to perform a detailed study of how the pulsar emission (phaseogram) changes with energy.
These results are key for the understanding of pulsars and will be an hard test for new theories to come.


Article on A&A

MAGIC Press release

Article on ArXiv