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  • richardmitnick 12:53 pm on August 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Gamma rays detected using the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), Supernova remnant Crab nebula, Very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy,   

    From Čerenkov Telescope Array: “CTA Prototype Telescope, the Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope, Detects Crab Nebula” 

    From Čerenkov Telescope Array

    2020-June-01

    Project contacts:

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
    Wystan Benbow
    617-496-7597
    wbenbow@cfa.harvard.edu

    University of Wisconsin
    Justin Vandenbroucke
    608-890-1477
    justin.vandenbroucke@wisc.edu

    University of California, Los Angeles
    Vladimir Vassiliev
    310-267-5878
    vvv@astro.ucla.edu

    Media contacts:

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
    Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
    Amy Oliver
    801-783-9067
    amy.oliver@cfa.harvard.edu

    CTA Observatory
    Megan Grunewald
    +49 157 58795599
    mgrunewald@cta-observatory.org

    1
    Guests of the pSCT inauguration in January 2019 gather in front of the telescope. Credit: Deivid Ribeiro, Columbia University.

    On 1 June 2020, scientists from the Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Consortium announced at the 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that they have detected gamma rays from the Crab Nebula using a prototype telescope proposed for CTA, the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), proving the viability of the novel telescope design for use in gamma-ray astrophysics.

    Supernova remnant Crab nebula

    “The Crab Nebula is the brightest steady source of TeV, or very-high-energy, gamma rays in the sky, so detecting it is an excellent way of proving the pSCT technology,” said Justin Vandenbroucke, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin. “Very-high-energy gamma rays are the highest energy photons in the universe and can unveil the physics of extreme objects including black holes and possibly dark matter.”

    Detecting the Crab Nebula with the pSCT is more than just proof-positive for the telescope itself. It lays the groundwork for the future of gamma-ray astrophysics. “We’ve established this new technology, which will measure gamma rays with extraordinary precision, enabling future discoveries,” said Vandenbroucke. “Gamma-ray astronomy is already at the heart of the new multi-messenger astrophysics, and the SCT technology will make it an even more important player.”

    The use of secondary mirrors in gamma-ray telescopes is a leap forward in innovation for the relatively young field of very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, which has moved rapidly to the forefront of astrophysics. “Just over three decades ago, TeV gamma rays were first detected in the universe, from the Crab Nebula, on the same mountain where the pSCT sits today,” said Vandenbroucke. “That was a real breakthrough, opening a cosmic window with light that is a trillion times more energetic than we can see with our eyes. Today, we’re using two mirror surfaces instead of one, and state-of-the-art sensors and electronics to study these gamma rays with exquisite resolution.”

    See the full article here.

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    About CTA

    The Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a global initiative to build the world’s largest and most sensitive high-energy gamma-ray observatory with tens of telescopes planned on two sites: one in the northern hemisphere on the island of La Palma, Spain, and the other in the southern hemisphere near Paranal, Chile. CTA will be the foremost global observatory for very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy over the next decade and beyond and will be the first ground-based gamma-ray astronomy observatory open to the world-wide astronomical and particle physics communities. CTA will address some of the greatest mysteries in astrophysics, detecting gamma rays with an unprecedented sensitivity and expanding the cosmic source catalogue tenfold. CTA is a unique, ambitious large-scale infrastructure that will expand observations up to a region of the spectrum that has never been seen, opening an entirely new window to our Universe. The CTAO gGmbH serves to prepare the design and implementation of the CTA Observatory. The CTAO works in close cooperation with the CTA Consortium composed of 1500+ members from 31 countries, which is responsible for directing the science goals of the Observatory and is involved in the design and supply of instrumentation. The CTAO is governed by a council of shareholders from 11 countries and one intergovernmental organization, as well as associate members from two countries.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:15 pm on June 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Detect Crab Nebula Using Innovative Gamma-Ray Telescope Proving Technology Viability", , Laying the groundwork for the future of gamma-ray astrophysics., Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), The use of secondary mirrors in gamma-ray telescopes is a leap forward in innovation for the relatively young field of very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy.,   

    From Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “Scientists Detect Crab Nebula Using Innovative Gamma-Ray Telescope, Proving Technology Viability” 

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


    From Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    June 1, 2020

    Project contacts:

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
    Wystan Benbow
    617-496-7597
    wbenbow@cfa.harvard.edu

    University of Wisconsin
    Justin Vandenbroucke
    608-890-1477
    justin.vandenbroucke@wisc.edu

    University of California, Los Angeles
    Vladimir Vassiliev
    310-267-5878
    vvv@astro.ucla.edu

    Media contact:

    Amy Oliver
    Public Affairs
    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
    Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
    801-783-9067
    amy.oliver@cfa.harvard.edu

    1
    Prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona

    Čerenkov Telescope Array, http://www.isdc.unige.ch/cta/ at Cerro Paranal, located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile searches for cosmic rays on Cerro Paranal at 2,635 m (8,645 ft) altitude, 120 km (70 mi) south of Antofagasta; and at at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Spain

    Scientists in the Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA) consortium today announced at the 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that they have detected gamma rays from the Crab Nebula using a prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), proving the viability of the novel telescope design for use in gamma-ray astrophysics.

    “The Crab Nebula is the brightest steady source of TeV, or very-high-energy, gamma rays in the sky, so detecting it is an excellent way of proving the pSCT technology,” said Justin Vandenbroucke, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin. “Very-high-energy gamma rays are the highest energy photons in the universe and can unveil the physics of extreme objects including black holes and possibly dark matter.”

    Detecting the Crab Nebula with the pSCT is more than just proof-positive for the telescope itself. It lays the groundwork for the future of gamma-ray astrophysics. “We’ve established this new technology, which will measure gamma rays with extraordinary precision, enabling future discoveries,” said Vandenbroucke. “Gamma-ray astronomy is already at the heart of the new multi-messenger astrophysics, and the SCT technology will make it an even more important player.”

    The use of secondary mirrors in gamma-ray telescopes is a leap forward in innovation for the relatively young field of very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, which has moved rapidly to the forefront of astrophysics. “Just over three decades ago, TeV gamma rays were first detected in the universe, from the Crab Nebula, on the same mountain where the pSCT sits today,” said Vandenbroucke. “That was a real breakthrough, opening a cosmic window with light that is a trillion times more energetic than we can see with our eyes. Today, we’re using two mirror surfaces instead of one, and state-of-the-art sensors and electronics to study these gamma rays with exquisite resolution.”

    The initial pSCT Crab Nebula detection was made possible by leveraging key simultaneous observations with the co-located VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) observatory.

    CfA/VERITAS, a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12m Čerenkov Telescopes for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV energy range. Located at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory,Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in AZ, USA, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    “We have successfully evolved the way gamma-ray astronomy has been done during the past 50 years, enabling studies to be performed in much less time,” said Wystan Benbow, Director, VERITAS. “Several future programs will particularly benefit, including surveys of the gamma-ray sky, studies of large objects like supernova remnants, and searches for multi-messenger counterparts to astrophysical neutrinos and gravitational wave events.”

    Located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona—the largest field site of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—the pSCT was inaugurated in January 2019 and saw first light the same week. After a year of commissioning work, scientists began observing the Crab Nebula in January 2020, but the project has been underway for more than a decade.

    “We first proposed the idea of applying this optical system to TeV gamma-ray astronomy nearly 15 years ago, and my colleagues and I built a team in the US and internationally to prove that this technology could work,” said Prof. Vladimir Vassiliev, Principal Investigator, pSCT. “What was once a theoretical limit to this technology is now well within our grasp, and continued improvements to the technology and the electronics will further increase our capability to detect gamma rays at resolutions and rates we once only ever dreamed of.”

    The pSCT was made possible by the contributions of thirty institutions and five critical industry partners across the United States, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Mexico, and by funding through the U.S National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program.

    “That a prototype of a future facility can yield such a tantalizing result promises great things from the full capability, and exemplifies NSF’s interest in creating new possibilities that can enable a project to attract wide-spread support,” said Nigel Sharp, Program Manager, National Science Foundation.

    Now demonstrated, the pSCT’s current and upcoming innovations will lay the groundwork for use in the future Čerenkov Telescope Array observatory, which will host more than 100 gamma-ray telescopes. “The pSCT, and its innovations, are pathfinding for the future CTA, which will detect gamma-ray sources at around 100 times faster than VERITAS, which is the current state of the art,” said Benbow. “We have demonstrated that this new technology for gamma-ray astronomy unequivocally works. The promise is there for this groundbreaking new observatory, and it opens a tremendous amount of discovery potential.”

    About the pSCT

    The SCT optical design was first conceptualized by U.S. members of CTA in 2006, and the construction of the pSCT was funded in 2012. Preparation of the pSCT site at the base of Mt. Hopkins in Amado, AZ, began in late 2014, and the steel structure was assembled on site in 2016. The installation of the pSCT’s 9.7-m primary mirror surface —consisting of 48 aspheric mirror panels—occurred in early 2018, and was followed by the camera installation in May 2018 and the 5.4-m secondary mirror surface installation—consisting of 24 aspheric mirror panels—in August 2018. Scientists opened the telescope’s optical surfaces and observed first light in January 2019. It began scientific operations in January 2020. The SCT is based on a 114 year-old two-mirror optical system first proposed by Karl Schwarzschild in 1905, but only recently became possible to construct due to the essential research and development progress made at the Brera Astronomical Observatory, the Media Lario Technologies Incorporated and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, all located in Italy. pSCT operations are funded by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution.

    For more information visit https://www.cta-observatory.org/project/technology/sct/

    About CTA

    CTA is a global initiative to build the world’s largest and most sensitive very-high-energy gamma-ray observatory consisting of about 120 telescopes split into a southern array at Paranal, Chile and a northern array at La Palma, Spain. More than 1,500 scientists and engineers from 31 countries are engaged in the scientific and technical development of CTA. Plans for the construction of the observatory are managed by the CTAO gGmbH, which is governed by Shareholders and Associate Members from a growing number of countries. CTA will be the first ground-based gamma-ray astronomy observatory open to the worldwide astronomical and particle physics communities.

    For more information visit http://cta-observatory.org/

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

     
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