How does MAGIC work?

Take a look at how the unusual telescopes that comprise MAGIC work

MAGIC-I (pictured here) works with MAGIC-II to probe the universe

MAGIC-I (pictured here) works with MAGIC-II to probe the universe

Asked by Terry Brown

The Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov telescopes (MAGIC) comprises two telescopes that operate in gamma ray wavelengths using their large 17-metre mirrors.

These gamma rays release showers of particles that are detected by the telescopes using Cherenkov radiation – that’s the faint light that’s given off by the charged particles in these showers. Being unaffected by magnetic fields, these highly energetic electromagnetic particles act as messengers that tell us much about the cosmos – especially about Active Galactic Nuclei, supernova remnants, dark matter and gamma ray bursts.

So far, the pair of telescopes – which are separated by 85-metres and are situated at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma – have strengthened the known constraints of dark matter models, amongst other achievements.

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