Seven MAGICal Sisters

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 |  Canon 60Da – ISO2500; 24mm at f/2; Exp. 15 secs. in 30/09/2013 at: 23h30

In the foreground we can see the the great MAGIC I telescope (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes) with the back of it´s gigantic structure in front of Perseus constellation. At the right side of it, low in the sky and near the horizon, stands one of the most beautiful open star clusters in the celestial sphere, the Pleiades M45, well known as the Seven Sisters, or in portuguese: “Sete Irmãs”.

MAGIC is a system of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes situated at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, at about 2200 m above sea level. MAGIC detects particle showers released by gamma rays, using the Cherenkov radiation, i.e., faint light radiated by the charged particles in the showers. With a diameter of 17 meters and 236 m2 reflective surface, it was the largest in the world before the construction of H.E.S.S. II. MAGIC is not only huge, but also pioneers a number of technical developments that had never been applied to Cherenkov telescopes before. The mirror is extremely light and can be moved to any position in the sky in less than thirty seconds. It is made up of 270 individual mirror panels that can be independently focussed using an active mirror control system equipped with lasers.

The cosmos and its evolution are studied using all radiation, in particular electromagnetic waves. The observable spectrum extends from radio waves to infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-ray, gamma-rays and finally very high energy gamma rays (starting at energies of 10 GeV). Observations at visible wavelengths (.5 to 1 micrometer) have a history of centuries, gamma astronomy by satellites (keV to few GeV) and ground-based telescopes (above 300 GeV) are end-of-20th century newcomers. The MAGIC telescope can detect very high energy gamma rays in a range of energies where no other telescope in the world can operate, so it opens up a brand new window into the universe.

Below is the annotated version with the identification of the main night sky objects.


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