Institute of Astronomy

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Cherenkov Telescope Array


CTA project (Cherenkov Telescope Array) will constitute another important step in research of high energy astrophysics. The main goal of this initiative is to construct a new generation of ground gamma observatories. It is a project in which over 1300 scientists and engineers from all over the world have engaged in. It should be noted that the initiative has gained significant government support in many countries by, for example being included into so-called “road maps” in Poland and other countries of Europe.

As part of CTA project two observatories will be established, one on the northern hemisphere in La Palma, on the Canary Islands, and the other in Pranal Observatory in Chile. Two different locations will allow for conducting observations on almost the entire sky. In each of the observatories dozens of Cherenkov telescopes of different diameters will be constructed. Three sizes of those instruments are planned: small telescopes, with a diameter of 4 meters, which will also be the most numerous, medium telescopes, whose diameter will be about 12 meters, and large instruments, whose diameter will be about 23 meters, only a few of which (~4) will be constructed in each observatory. The telescopes will be connected with a network of instruments which will allow for studying selected sources of emission with previously unmatched sensitivity and angular resolution.

One of the prototypes of the small telescope for the CTA project was constructed in Poland, at the Institute of Atomic Physics of the Polish Academy of Science in Cracow. The instrument has been so far known under the name of SST-1M- for more information on that matter, see Polish websites of the CTA project.

Detailed information on the main assumptions and objectives of the CTA initiative can be found in the most important publications which have been prepared by an international team of experts involved in the project:

  • Acharya B.S. et al., including Katarzyński K. (2013) Introducing the CTA concept, Astroparticle Physics 43, 3
  • Actis M. et al., including Katarzyński K. (2011) Design concepts for the Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA: an advanced facility for ground-based high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, Experimental Astronomy 32, 193

NCU’s Institute of Astronomy is represented in the CTA project by:
professor of NCU Krzysztof Katarzyński, Ph.D (www)
and doctor Agnieszka Słowikowska.