The main goal of the MAGIC project was to build an instrument that could perform measurements in an energy range below 100 GeV, down to about 30 GeV, up to the high-energetic "terra incognita" of the electromagnetic emission spectrum, traditionally considered as the classical domain of satellite-born instruments. MAGIC researchers were anticipating finding new classes of gamma-ray sources such as, for example, pulsars and Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB). Because of the strong absorption of TeV gamma rays by the extragalactic background light, MAGIC was aiming to measure sources at few tens of GeV, where the universe becomes progressively more transparent. At lower energies, one can search for powerful sources residing at large redshifts. The telescopes measure Cherenkov light images of extended air showers from a target source direction. The software analysis allows, with very high efficiency, to select neutral gamma-ray induced electromagnetic showers from the several orders of magnitudes more intense isotropic background due to the charged particle (mostly hadron) induced showers. The MAGIC telescopes are located at a height of 2200 m a.s.l. on the Roque de los Muchachos European Northern Observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma (28°N, 18°W).

The first ideas on the project date back to mid-1994. While several groups joined the MAGIC effort already in 1996, the formal collaboration for constructing the first MAGIC telescope (MAGIC-I) has been formed in 1998. The first telescope was built between 2001 and 2003 and the scientific observations started in 2004. The commissioning of second telescope (MAGIC-II) has been finished in autumn 2009. The two telescopes, separated by 85 meters, are usually operated in coincidence, in the so-called stereoscopic mode. Only events which trigger both telescopes in a narrow time window of 180 nanoseconds are recorded and analyzed. Compared to the stand-alone MAGIC-I, operated till mid-2009, the use of the two telescopes provided a significant increase of the sensitivity due to stronger background rejection. The energy and angular resolutions have been improved, mainly due to the higher precision of the three-dimensional reconstruction of air shower impact point and its incoming direction.
The two MAGIC telescopes in La Palma
Aim of our participation

The Institute participate in the science exploitation of the experiment from 2006 to 2017, leaving the collaboration in June that year. We have several times lead (in terms of 2 years each) the Galactic Working Group (including in the first two years of the experimetn) and participated in the Board, the Time Allocation Committee, the Key Projects Committee, and others along our decade of involvement.

Selected publications

Teraelectronvolt pulsed emission from the Crab pulsar detected by MAGIC [astro-ph/1510.07048]
Astronomy & Astrophysics 585, 133, 6 pages (2016).

Super-orbital variability of LS I +61 303 at TeV energies [astro-ph/1603.06973]
Astronomy & Astrophysics 591, id.A76, 7 pp (2016).

Measurement of the Crab Nebula spectrum over three decades in energy with the MAGIC telescopes [astro-ph/1406.6892]
Journal of High Energy Astrophysics 5-6, 30-38 (2015)

Discovery of TeV gamma-ray emission from the pulsar wind nebula 3C58 by MAGIC [astro-ph/1405.6074]
Astronomy & Astrophysics 567, article id.L8, 5 pp (2014)

First bounds on the very high-energy gamma-ray emission from Arp 220 [astro-ph/0611786]
The Astrophysical Journal 658, 245-248 (2007)

Discovery of VHE from IC 443 with the MAGIC telescope [astro-ph/0705.3119]
The Astrophysical Journal Letters 664, 87-90 (2007)

VHE gamma-ray radiation from the stellar-mass black hole Cyg X-1 [astro-ph/0706.1505]
The Astrophysical Journal Letters 665, 51-54 (2007)

Observation of VHE gamma-rays from Cassiopeia A with the MAGIC telescope [astro-ph/0706.4065]
Astronomy & Astrophysics 474, 937-940 (2007)

Observations of the VHE gamma radiation from HESS J1813-178 with the MAGIC telescope [astro- ph/0512283]
The Astrophysical Journal Letters 637, 41-44 (2006)

Observation of gamma-rays from the Galactic center with the MAGIC telescope [astro-ph/0512469]
The Astrophysical Journal Letters 638, 101-104 (2006)

Discovery of variable VHE radiation from LS I +61 303 [astro-ph/0605549]
Science 312, 1771-1773 (2006)

Senior Institute Members involved

D. F. Torres, E. de Oña Wilhelmi
Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC)

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An institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

An institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Affiliated with the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya

Affiliated with the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya