FACT Cherenkov Telescope in a Milky Way Backlight

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Captured in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), situated on the edge of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, 2.400 m. above sea level, on the island of La Palma, Canary, Spain, the image shows in the foreground, the First G-APD Cherenkov Telescope (FACT), that is the first imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiods (G-APDs) as photo sensors. The rather small, low-cost telescope will not only serve as a test bench for this technology in Cherenkov astronomy, but also monitor bright active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the TeV energy range. The First G-APD Cherenkov Telescope is assembled in Roque de Los Muchachos on the MAGIC site, mounted in the focus of one of the former HEGRA telescopes (CT3). In the background, the beautiful light coming from the central region of Milky Way, where the main stars of Sagittarius constellation are shining behind the telescope structure and surrounded by a region rich in emission nebulae, like the Lagoon Nebula (M8) and the Trifid Nebula (M20), or even M23 and M24, Omega nebula (M17) and Eagle Nebula (M16) – seen in the right edge of the picture in violet color – working as an impressive backlight that even without the presence of any other source of light, allow us to show the imposing dark silhouette of the FACT Telescope, with some of these nebulae and stars, reflected in part of the 9.5 sqm mirror area.  More info related: DWARF – Dedicated multiWavelength Agn Research Facility.

 The excellent quality of the sky for astronomy  in the Canaries is determined and protected by Law. As a result, the observatories of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) are an “astronomy reserve” which has been available to the international community since 1979.  Technical image details:  Canon 60Da – ISO2500; 24mm at f/2; Exp. 15 secs.  in 30/09/2013 at: 22h43 AM

Image of a startrail sequence taken at the same time, with the Milky Way dragged in the background.


|   Canon 60Da – ISO2500; 24mm at f/2; Exp. 15 secs. Sum of 23 images taken in 30/09/2013 at 22:44

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