MAGIC-II shortly before sunrise
MAGIC is a Cherenkov telescope, the biggest in gamma ray detection in the world. This type of high-energy radiation cannot be detected directly from Earth because it is absorbed by the atmosphere. In this process, a cascade of particles that emit light in the blue UV range is generated in a very short period of time. This glow is known as “Cherenkov radiation”Â, which is what MAGIC detects.
MAGIC allows for the exploration of a range of energies, which were previously inaccessible. MAGIC is able to do this because of the significant technical improvements, which were lacking in previous generation of Cherenkov telescopes: higher accuracy, more efficiency, and easy handling due to its light structure. Some of the scientific projects that will be completed are related to gamma ray bursts (GRBs), active galactic nuclei, and dark matter; the latter related to the Supersymmetric Theory of Particle Physics.
Image credit: Robert Wagner/Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich