MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes) 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 for the reflecting surface, it is the largest in the world.
The first telescope was built on 2004 and operated for five years in standalone mode. A second MAGIC telescope (MAGIC-II), at a distance of 85 m from the first one, started taking data in July 2009. Together they integrate the MAGIC telescope stereoscopic system.
MAGIC is sensitive to cosmic gamma rays with energies between 50 GeV and 30 TeV due to its large mirror; other ground-based gamma-ray telescopes typically observe gamma energies above 200-300 GeV. Satellite-based detectors detect gamma-rays in the energy range from keV up to several GeV.
See Also: The Magic Telescopes