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iSGTW Image of the week - MAGIC: low-energy gamma-ray astronomy on a grid

Image of the week - MAGIC: low-energy gamma-ray astronomy on a grid

MAGIC is characterized by the largest collection surface of any existing gamma-ray telescope world-wide, an assembly of nearly 1000 individual mirrors, together resulting in a parabolic dish of 17 meters diameter.
Image courtesy of Robert Wagner, Max-Planck Institute

Located on a mountain top on the Canary Island of La Palma, the MAGIC or Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov telescope records about 500 gigabytes of raw data every night.

This data is shuttled via the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE cyberinfrastructure to gamma-ray astronomists from 17 collaborating institutions across nine different countries.

EGEE resources also facilitiate more sophisticated analysis of MAGIC data, allowing the MAGIC collaborators to run more complex simulations.

The MAGIC-II Datacenter provides storage and access to the experiment data, which is accessible to all collaboration members.

The Datacenter also hosts the MAGIC-II Database and an automatic analysis system that serves standard calibration and analysis files.

1000 mirrors; 236 meters squared

Designed specifically for low-energy gamma-ray astronomy, the MAGIC telescope is a large atmospheric imaging Cherenkov telescope with a mirror surface of 236 meters squared and photomultiplier tubes of optimal efficiency. A second MAGIC telescope, designed to resemble MAGIC I while still exploiting new technologies, is in construction 85 meters from the first.

Thanks to MAGIC data, researchers are casting new light on phenomena including active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants and gamma-ray bursts.

MAGIC research highlights include the observation of gamma-ray emissions from supernova remants; detection of blazars in the TeV energy band triggered by optical outbursts; and millisecond pulsars.

MAGIC is also leading with way with gamma-ray burst observations: it has been specifically equipped with a fast repositioning system and is the only gamma-ray telescope with such a fast follow-up capability.

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