The MAGIC Collaboration

University of Padova, Padua, Veneto, Italy

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Publications (71)12.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We study the multifrequency emission and spectral properties of the quasar 3C 279. We observed 3C 279 in very high energy (VHE, E>100GeV) gamma rays, with the MAGIC telescopes during 2011, for the first time in stereoscopic mode. We combine these measurements with observations at other energy bands: in high energy (HE, E>100MeV) gamma rays from Fermi-LAT, in X-rays from RXTE, in the optical from the KVA telescope and in the radio at 43GHz, 37GHz and 15GHz from the VLBA, Mets\"ahovi and OVRO radio telescopes and optical polarisation measurements from the KVA and Liverpool telescopes. During the MAGIC observations (February to April 2011) 3C 279 was in a low state in optical, X-ray and gamma rays. The MAGIC observations did not yield a significant detection. These upper limits are in agreement with the extrapolation of the HE gamma-ray spectrum, corrected for extragalactic background light absorption, from Fermi-LAT. The second part of the MAGIC observations in 2011 was triggered by a high activity state in the optical and gamma-ray bands. During the optical outburst the optical electric vector position angle rotatated of about 180 degrees. There was no simultaneous rotation of the 43GHz radio polarisation angle. No VHE gamma rays were detected by MAGIC, and the derived upper limits suggest the presence of a spectral break or curvature between the Fermi-LAT and MAGIC bands. The combined upper limits are the strongest derived to date for the source at VHE and below the level of the previously detected flux by a factor 2. Radiation models that include synchrotron and inverse Compton emissions match the optical to gamma-ray data, assuming an emission component inside the broad line region (BLR) responsible for the high-energy emission and one outside the BLR and the infrared torus causing optical and low-energy emission. We interpreted the optical polarisation with a bent trajectory model.
    11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The galaxy IC 310 has recently been identified as a $\gamma$-ray emitter by the Fermi-LAT and at very high energies by the MAGIC telescopes. Originally classified as a head-tail radio galaxy, the nature of this object is subject of controversy because its nucleus shows blazar-like behavior. Aims. In order to understand the nature of IC 310 and the origin of the VHE emission we studied the spectral and flux variability of IC 310 from the X-ray band to the VHE regime. Methods. The daily light curve of IC 310 above 300 GeV has been measured with MAGIC from 2009 October to 2010 February. Contemporaneous Fermi-LAT data (2008-2011) in the 10-500 GeV energy range were also analyzed. In X-ray, archival observations from 2003 to 2007 with XMM-Newton, Chandra, and Swift-XRT in the 0.5-10 keV band were studied. Results. Several flares with similar amplitude can be seen in the MAGIC light curve. Day to day flux variability is clearly present. The photon index between 120 GeV and 8 TeV is measured to be $\Gamma=2.0$ during both low and high flux states. It does not show variability, whereas the flux at 1 TeV changes by a factor of 7. Fermi-LAT detected only eight $\gamma$ rays in the energy range 10 GeV-500 GeV in three years of observation. The measured photon index of $\Gamma=1.3\pm0.5$ in the Fermi-LAT range is very hard. The X-ray measurements show strong variability in both flux and photon index. The latter varied from 1.76 to 2.55. Conclusion. The rapid variability measured in $\gamma$ rays and X-rays confirms the blazar-like behavior of the source. The spectral behavior measured in both energy bands suggest IC 310 could be linked to extreme HBL objects. The apparent luminosity of IC 310 is a few orders of magnitude lower than other extreme HBLs however and, atypical for an HBL, it harbors a kiloparsec-scale radio structure. Thus, IC 310 could be a peculiar type of a HBL.
    05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] Context. To construct and interpret the spectral energy distribution (SED) of BL Lacertae objects, simultaneous broad-band observations are mandatory. Aims. We present the results of a dedicated multi-wavelength study of the high-frequency peaked BL Lacertae (HBL) object and known TeV emitter 1ES 2344+514 by means of a pre-organised campaign. Methods. The observations were conducted during simultaneous visibility windows of MAGIC and AGILE in late 2008. The measurements were complemented by Mets\"ahovi, RATAN-600, KVA+Tuorla, Swift and VLBA pointings. Additional coverage was provided by the ongoing long-term F-GAMMA and MOJAVE programs, the OVRO 40-m and CrAO telescopes as well as the Fermi satellite. The obtained SEDs are modelled using a one-zone as well as a self-consistent two-zone synchrotron self-Compton model. Results. 1ES 2344+514 was found at very low flux states in both X-rays and very high energy gamma rays. Variability was detected in the low frequency radio and X-ray bands only, where for the latter a small flare was observed. The X-ray flare was possibly caused by shock acceleration characterised by similar cooling and acceleration time scales. MOJAVE VLBA monitoring reveals a static jet whose components are stable over time scales of eleven years, contrary to previous findings. There appears to be no significant correlation between the 15 GHz and R-band monitoring light curves. The observations presented here constitute the first multi-wavelength campaign on 1ES 2344+514 from radio to VHE energies and one of the few simultaneous SEDs during low activity states. The quasi-simultaneous Fermi-LAT data poses some challenges for SED modelling, but in general the SEDs are described well by both applied models. The resulting parameters are typical for TeV emitting HBLs. Consequently it remains unclear whether a so-called quiescent state was found in this campaign.
    11/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetars are an extreme, highly magnetized class of isolated neutron stars whose large X-ray luminosity is believed to be driven by their high magnetic field. In this work we study for the first time the possible very high energy gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV from magnetars, observing the sources 4U 0142+61 and 1E 2259+586. We observed the two sources with atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes in the very high energy range (E > 100 GeV). 4U 0142+61 was observed with the MAGIC I telescope in 2008 for ~25 h and 1E 2259+586 was observed with the MAGIC stereoscopic system in 2010 for ~14 h. The data were analyzed with the standard MAGIC analysis software. Neither magnetar was detected. Upper limits to the differential and integral flux above 200 GeV were computed using the Rolke algorithm. We obtain integral upper limits to the flux of 1.52*10^-12cm^-2 s^-1 and 2.7*10^-12cm^-2 s^-1 with a confidence level of 95% for 4U 0142+61 and 1E 2259+586, respectively. The resulting differential upper limits are presented together with X-ray data and upper limits in the GeV energy range.
    11/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The high frequency peaked BL Lac PKS 2155-304 with a redshift of z=0.116 was discovered in 1997 in the very high energy (VHE, E >100GeV) gamma-ray range by the University of Durham Mark VI gamma-ray Cherenkov telescope in Australia with a flux corresponding to 20% of the Crab Nebula flux. It was later observed and detected with high significance by the Southern Cherenkov observatory H.E.S.S. Detection from the Northern hemisphere is difficult due to challenging observation conditions under large zenith angles. In July 2006, the H.E.S.S. collaboration reported an extraordinary outburst of VHE gamma-emission. During the outburst, the VHE gamma-ray emission was found to be variable on the time scales of minutes and with a mean flux of ~7 times the flux observed from the Crab Nebula. Follow-up observations with the MAGIC-I standalone Cherenkov telescope were triggered by this extraordinary outburst and PKS 2155-304 was observed between 28 July to 2 August 2006 for 15 hours at large zenith angles. Here we present our studies on the behavior of the source after its extraordinary flare and an enhanced analysis method for data taken at high zenith angles. We developed improved methods for event selection that led to a better background suppression. The averaged energy spectrum we derived has a spectral index of -3.5 +/- 0.2 above 400GeV, which is in good agreement with the spectral shape measured by H.E.S.S. during the major flare on MJD 53944. Furthermore, we present the spectral energy distribution modeling of PKS 2155-304. With our observations we increased the duty cycle of the source extending the light curve derived by H.E.S.S. after the outburst. Finally, we find night-by-night variability with a maximal amplitude of a factor three to four and an intranight variability in one of the nights (MJD 53945) with a similar amplitude.
    07/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The very high energy (VHE) \gamma-ray source HESS J0632+057 has recently been confirmed to be a \gamma-ray binary. The optical counterpart is the Be star MWC 148, and a compact object of unknown nature orbits it every ~321 d with a high eccentricity of ~0.8. We monitored HESS J0632+057 with the stereoscopic MAGIC telescopes from 2010 October to 2011 March and detected significant VHE \gamma-ray emission during 2011 February, when the system exhibited an X-ray outburst. We find no \gamma-ray signal in the other observation periods when the system did not show increased X-ray flux. Thus HESS J0632+057 exhibits \gamma-ray variability on timescales of the order of one to two months possibly linked to the X-ray outburst that takes place about 100 days after the periastron passage. Furthermore our measurements provide for the first time the \gamma-ray spectrum down to about 140 GeV and indicate no turnover of the spectrum at low energies. We compare the properties of HESS J0632+057 with the similar \gamma-ray binary LS I +61 303, and discuss on the possible origin of the multi-wavelength emission of the source
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 03/2012; 754(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study the non-thermal jet emission of the BL Lac object B3 2247+381 during a high optical state. The MAGIC telescopes observed the source during 13 nights between September 30th and October 30th 2010, collecting a total of 14.2 hours of good quality very high energy (VHE) $\gamma$-ray data. Simultaneous multiwavelength data was obtained with X-ray observations by the Swift satellite and optical R-band observations at the KVA-telescope. We also use high energy $\gamma$-ray (HE, 0.1 GeV-100 GeV) data from the Fermi satellite. The BL Lac object B3 2247+381 (z=0.119) was detected, for the first time, at VHE $\gamma$-rays at a statistical significance of 5.6 $\sigma$. A soft VHE spectrum with a photon index of -3.2 $\pm$ 0.6 was determined. No significant short term flux variations were found. We model the spectral energy distribution using a one-zone SSC-model, which can successfully describe our data.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of the observation of the nearby satellite galaxy Segue 1 performed by the MAGIC-I ground-based gamma-ray telescope between November 2008 and March 2009 for a total of 43.2 hours. No significant gamma-ray emission was found above the background. Differential upper limits on the gamma-ray flux are derived assuming various power-law slopes for the possible emission spectrum. Integral upper limits are also calculated for several power-law spectra and for different energy thresholds. The values are of the order of 10^{-11} ph cm^{-2}$ s^{-1} above 100 GeV and 10^{-12} ph cm^{-2} s^{-1} above 200 GeV. Segue 1 is currently considered one of the most interesting targets for indirect dark matter searches. In these terms, the upper limits have been also interpreted in the context of annihilating dark matter particles. For such purpose, we performed a grid scan over a reasonable portion of the parameter space for the minimal SuperGravity model and computed the flux upper limit for each point separately, taking fully into account the peculiar spectral features of each model. We found that in order to match the experimental upper limits with the model predictions, a minimum flux boost of 10^{3} is required, and that the upper limits are quite dependent on the shape of the gamma-ray energy spectrum predicted by each specific model. Finally we compared the upper limits with the predictions of some dark matter models able to explain the PAMELA rise in the positron ratio, finding that Segue 1 data are in tension with the dark matter explanation of the PAMELA spectrum in the case of a dark matter candidate annihilating into tau+tau-. A complete exclusion however is not possible due to the uncertainties in the Segue 1 astrophysical factor.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 03/2011; 6(06). · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. 3C 279, the first quasar discovered to emit VHE gamma-rays by the MAGIC telescope in 2006, was reobserved by MAGIC in January 2007 during a major optical flare and from December 2008 to April 2009 following an alert from the Fermi space telescope on an exceptionally high gamma -ray state. Aims. The January 2007 observations resulted in a detection on January 16 with significance 5.2 sigma, corresponding to a F(> 150 GeV) (3.8 \pm 0.8) \cdot 10^-11 ph cm^-2 s^-1 while the overall data sample does not show significant signal. The December 2008 - April 2009 observations did not detect the source. We study the multiwavelength behavior of the source at the epochs of MAGIC observations, collecting quasi-simultaneous data at optical and X-ray frequencies and for 2009 also gamma-ray data from Fermi. Methods. We study the light curves and spectral energy distribution of the source. The spectral energy distributions of three observing epochs (including the February 2006, which has been previously published in Albert et al. 2008a) are modeled with one-zone inverse Compton models and the emission on January 16, 2007 also with two zone model and with a lepto-hadronic model. Results. We find that the VHE gamma-ray emission detected in 2006 and 2007 challenges standard one-zone model, based on relativistic electrons in a jet scattering broad line region photons, while the other studied models fit the observed spectral energy distribution more satisfactorily.
    01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We report new observations of the intermediate-frequency peaked BL Lacertae object 3C 66A with the MAGIC telescopes. The data sample we use was taken in 2009 December and 2010 January, and comprises 2.3 hours of good quality data in stereoscopic mode. In this period, we find a significant signal from the direction of the blazar 3C 66A. The new MAGIC stereoscopic system is shown to play an essential role for the separation between 3C 66A and the nearby radio galaxy 3C 66B, which is at a distance of only $6^\prime$. The derived integral flux above $100\eh{GeV}$ is 8.3% of Crab Nebula flux and the energy spectrum is reproduced by a power law of photon index $3.64 \pm 0.39_{\rm stat} \pm 0.25_{\rm sys}$. Within errors, this is compatible with the one derived by VERITAS in 2009. From the spectra corrected for absorption by the extragalactic background light, we only find small differences between the four models that we applied, and constrain the redshift of the blazar to $z < 0.68$. Comment: 15 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, submitted to ApJL
    10/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We present results of the multiwavelength campaign on the TeV blazar Mkn 501 performed in 2006 July, including MAGIC for the VHE gamma-ray band and Suzaku for the X-ray band. A VHE gamma-ray signal was clearly detected with an average flux above 200 GeV of ~20 % of the Crab Nebula flux, which indicates a low state of source activity in this energy range. No significant variability has been found during the campaign. The VHE gamma-ray spectrum can be described by a simple power-law from 80 GeV to 2 TeV with a photon index of 2.8+/-0.1, which corresponds to one of the steepest photon indices observed in this energy range so far for this object. The X-ray spectrum covers a wide range from 0.6 to 40 keV, and is well described by a broken power law, with photon indices of 2.257+/-0.004 and 2.420+/-0.012 below and above the break energy of 3.24+/-0.13 keV. No apparent high-energy cut off is seen above the break energy. Although an increase of the flux of about 50 % is observed in the X-ray band within the observation, the data indicate a consistently low state of activity for this source. Time-resolved spectra show an evidence for spectral hardening with a flux level. A homogeneous one-zone synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) model can adequately describe the SED from the X-ray to the VHE gamma-ray bands with a magnetic field intensity B=0.313 G and a Doppler beaming factor delta = 20, which are similar to the values in the past multiwavelength campaigns in high states. Based on our SSC parameters derived for the low state, we are able to reproduce the SED of the high state by just changing the Lorentz factor of the electrons corresponding to the break energy in the primary electron spectrum. This suggests that the variation of the injected electron population in the jet is responsible for the observed low-high state variation of the SED. Comment: 25 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
    10/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The Perseus galaxy cluster was observed by the MAGIC Cherenkov telescope for a total effective time of 24.4 hr during 2008 November and December. The resulting upper limits on the gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV are in the range of 4.6 to 7.5 x 10^{-12} cm^{-2} s^{-1} for spectral indices from -1.5 to -2.5, thereby constraining the emission produced by cosmic rays, dark matter annihilations, and the central radio galaxy NGC1275. Results are compatible with cosmological cluster simulations for the cosmic-ray-induced gamma-ray emission, constraining the average cosmic ray-to-thermal pressure to <4% for the cluster core region (<8% for the entire cluster). Using simplified assumptions adopted in earlier work (a power-law spectrum with an index of -2.1, constant cosmic ray-to-thermal pressure for the peripheral cluster regions while accounting for the adiabatic contraction during the cooling flow formation), we would limit the ratio of cosmic ray-to-thermal energy to E_CR/E_th<3%. The upper limit also translates into a level of gamma-ray emission from possible annihilations of the cluster dark matter (the dominant mass component) that is consistent with boost factors of ~10^4 for the typically expected dark matter annihilation-induced emission. Finally, the upper limits obtained for the gamma-ray emission of the central radio galaxy NGC1275 are consistent with the recent detection by the Fermi-LAT satellite. Due to the extremely large Doppler factors required for the jet, a one-zone synchrotron self-Compton model is implausible in this case. We reproduce the observed spectral energy density by using the structured jet (spine-layer) model which has previously been adopted to explain the high-energy emission of radio galaxies. Comment: 15 pages, 5 figures; accepted for publication in ApJ; updated to match the journal final version
    09/2009;
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    The MAGIC Collaboration, H Anderhub
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    ABSTRACT: The MAGIC collaboration reports the detection of the blazar S5 0716+714 (z=0.31+-0.08) in very high energy gamma-rays. The observations were performed in November 2007 and in April 2008, and were triggered by the KVA telescope due to the high optical state of the object. An overall significance of the signal accounts to S =5.8 sigma for 13.1 hours of data. Most of the signal comes from the April 2008 data sample during a higher optical state of the object suggesting a possible correlation between the VHE gamma-ray and optical emissions. The differential energy spectrum of the 2008 data sample follows a power law with a photon index of Gamma = 3.45+-0.54_(stat)+-0.2_(sys), and the integral flux above 400 GeV is at the level of (7.5+-2.2_(stat)+-2.3_(sys))* 10^-12 cm^-2 s^-1. Modeling of the broad band spectral energy distribution indicates that a simple one zone synchrotron self-Compton model cannot describe the available data well whereas the structured jet model can.
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, L129-L133 (2009). 07/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Index entry listing the contributed papers of the MAGIC collaboration to the 31th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC 2009), July 7-15 2009, \L\'od\'z, Poland. The individual papers are sorted by subject: Overview and Highlight Papers; MAGIC-II Status and Components; Software and Analysis Techniques; Technical Developments; Scientific Results. This HTML document includes clickable links to the papers that exist on the astro-ph arXiv. We hope that this will make it easy to access the MAGIC contributions in a systematic way. Comment: Index of the MAGIC conference proceedings for ICRC 2009. Added 6 papers missing in v1
    07/2009;
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    The MAGIC Collaboration, D. Mazin
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    ABSTRACT: Very high energy (VHE, E > 30 GeV) gamma-rays are absorbed via interaction with low-energy photons from the extragalactic background light (EBL) if the involved photon energies are above the threshold for electron-positron pair creation. The VHE gamma-ray absorption, which is energy dependent and increases strongly with redshift, distorts the VHE energy spectra observed from distant objects. The observed energy spectra of the AGNs carry therefore an imprint of the EBL. Recent detections of hard spectra of distant (z = 0.11 - 0.54) blazars by H.E.S.S. and MAGIC put strong constraints on the EBL density in the optical to near infrared waveband. It is, however, not yet possible to distinguish between an intrinsic softening of blazar spectra and a softening caused by the interaction with low energy EBL photons. In this paper, we give an overview of the EBL constraints, their limitations and perspectives for the joint efforts of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space telescope and imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes.
    04/2009;
  • The MAGIC Collaboration, V. Scalzotto
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    ABSTRACT: The MAGIC telescope is the largest Cherenkov telescope worldwide, operating since late 2004. One of its main research topics is the discovery of extragalactic gamma-ray emitters at very high energies and high redshift, as active galactic nuclei. From the observations of such distant sources, it is also possible to study the nature of the extragalactic background light, and thanks to the time resolution achievable during high flaring emissions, to investigate on possible light propagation e
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements, 190, 308-312 (2009). 01/2009;
  • The MAGIC Collaboration, R. de los Reyes
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    ABSTRACT: Located at the Canary island of La Palma, the single-dish MAGIC telescope currently has the lowest energy threshold achieved by any Cherenkov telescope, which can be as low as 25 GeV. In the last two years, the MAGIC telescope has detected a significant amount of galactic sources that emit at very high energies (up to several TeV). Here we present the most recent results that have yielded important scientific highlights in astrophysics, which include the first detection of gamma-ray emission from a pulsar, an X-ray binary system and a stellar-mass black hole. We also make a review of the latest results of the MAGIC observations on galactic sources, which will include also EGRET unidentified sources, the Galactic Centre, pulsars and supernova remnants.
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements, 190, 313-316 (2009). 01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The Perseus galaxy cluster was observed by the MAGIC Cherenkov telescope for a total effective time of 24.4 hours during November and December 2008. The resulting upper limits on the gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV are in the range of 4.6 to 7.5 x 10^{-12} cm^{-2} s^{-1} for spectral indices from -1.5 to -2.5; thereby constraining the emission produced by cosmic rays, dark matter annihilations, and the central radio galaxy NGC 1275. Results are compatible with cosmological cluster simulations for the cosmic ray induced gamma-ray emission, constraining the relative cosmic ray pressure to <3.5% for the cluster core region (<7% when considering biasing effects of galaxy-sized substructures). Using simplified assumptions adopted in earlier work (constant cosmic ray-to-thermal pressure throughout the entire cluster and a power-law spectrum with an index of -2.1), we constrain the ratio of cosmic ray-to-thermal energy to E_{CR}/E_{th}<1.7%. The upper limit also translates to a level of gamma-ray emission from possible annihilations of the cluster dark matter (the dominant mass component) that is consistent with boost factors of ~10^{4} for the typically expected dark matter annihilation induced emission. Finally, the upper limits obtained for the gamma-ray emission of the central radio galaxy NGC 1275 are consistent with the recent detection by the Fermi-LAT satellite. Due to the extremely large Doppler factors required for the jet, a one-zone synchrotron self-Compton model is implausible in this case. We reproduce the observed spectral energy density by using the structured jet (spine-layer) model which has previously been adopted to explain the high-energy emission of radio galaxies.
    Astrophysical Journal, 634-647 (2010). 01/2009;
  • The MAGIC Collaboration, M. Doro
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    ABSTRACT: The atmospheric Cherenkov telescope MAGIC for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy is operating since late 2003 in the Canarian island of La Palma. Its 17 m diameter mirror is composed of 964 square all-aluminum mirrors constituting a parabola of 236 m ^2 area, which allows to lower the energy threshold to value unreached by the past generation of telescopes of the same design. The related trigger system is also well integrated and designed for very fast signals (2 ns) and ultra-fast decision logics (topological, time-coincidences, etc.). Details on the characteristics of the MAGIC telescope will be presented, tech- nical problems and solutions will be discussed with the information of three years of operations and scientific production.
    06/2008;
  • The MAGIC Collaboration, J. K. Becker, M. Gaug, Ch. -Ch. Hsu, W. Rhode
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    ABSTRACT: The Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescope was designed for the detection of very high-energy photon sources. The measurement of highly-inclined air- showers renders possible the search for high-energy neutrinos, too. Only neutrinos can traverse the Earth without interaction, and therefore, events close to the horizon can be identified as neutrino- induced rather than photon-induced or hadronic events. In this paper, Swift-XRT-detected GRBs with given spectral information are used in order to calculate the potential neutrino energy spectrum from prompt and afterglow emission for each individual GRB. The event rate in MAGIC is estimated assuming that the GRB happens within the FoV of MAGIC. A sample of 568 long GRBs as detected by BATSE is used to compare the detection rates with 163 Swift-detected bursts. BATSE has properties similar to the GBM on board of GLAST. Therefore the estimated rates give an estimate for the possibilities of neutrino detection with MAGIC from GLAST-triggered bursts.
    American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings, 1000, 245-248 (2008). 05/2008;