The Cherenkov Telescope Array releases its updated science case

September 27, 2017

Heidelberg, Germany - The latest iteration of the Cherenkov Telescope Array's (CTA's) science case, Science with the Cherenkov Telescope Array, was made available today via the CTA website library and arXiv (1709.07997) and will be published in a special edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics D in the coming weeks. The work includes more than 200 pages that introduce and elaborate on CTA's major science themes and place CTA in the context of other major observatories.

"The release of this document represents a major milestone for CTA, and it details the breadth and the richness of the science that will be done with the observatory over the next decade," says CTA Co-Spokesperson Prof. Rene Ong. "The document would not have been possible without the hard work of literally hundreds of CTA Consortium members over a period of many years."

CTA will be the foremost global observatory for very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy over the next decade and beyond. The scientific potential of CTA is extremely broad: from understanding the role of relativistic cosmic particles to the search for dark matter. CTA will explore the extreme Universe, probing environments from the immediate neighbourhood of black holes to cosmic voids on the largest scales. With its ability to cover an enormous range in photon energy from 20 GeV to 300 TeV, CTA will improve on all aspects of performance with respect to current instruments. And its wider field of view and improved sensitivity will enable CTA to survey hundreds of times faster than previous TeV telescopes.

CTA will seek to address a wide range of questions in astrophysics and fundamental physics that fall under three major study themes: understanding the origin and role of relativistic cosmic particles, probing extreme environments and exploring frontiers in physics (Chapter 1).

"The Key Science Projects described in the document - surveys and deep observations of key objects - will provide legacy data sets of lasting value and will provide important input for the planning of CTA's user programme," said CTA Spokesperson Prof. Werner Hofmann.

Some of the most promising discoveries will come from a survey of our Milky Way galaxy, which should discover more Galactic sources for improved population studies and for advancing our understanding of the origin of cosmic rays (Chapter 6); the search for the elusive dark matter with models not accessible by other experiments (Chapter 4); and the detection of transient phenomena like gamma-ray bursts and gravitational wave events associated with catastrophic events in the Universe (Chapter 9).

"For me, the most exciting aspect of CTA is the potential for truly unexpected discoveries," says CTA Project Scientist, Prof. Jim Hinton. "CTA pushes to shorter timescales, higher energies and more distant objects. Pushing back the frontiers in astronomy always leads to something truly new and exciting, and now we're all just itching to get started."

It has been a decade since science planning for CTA started, resulting in a series of publications in a special edition of Astroparticle Physics in 2013. The current work began that same year with an organized effort by the CTA Consortium to develop CTA's Key Science Projects (KSPs) in 2013. After three years of development and refinement that included internal and external reviews, the KSPs were incorporated into a single document: Science with the Cherenkov Telescope Array.

Cherenkov Telescope Array

Related Dark Matter Articles from Brightsurf:

Dark matter from the depths of the universe
Cataclysmic astrophysical events such as black hole mergers could release energy in unexpected forms.

Seeing dark matter in a new light
A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method.

Holding up a mirror to a dark matter discrepancy
The universe's funhouse mirrors are revealing a difference between how dark matter behaves in theory and how it appears to act in reality.

Zooming in on dark matter
Cosmologists have zoomed in on the smallest clumps of dark matter in a virtual universe - which could help us to find the real thing in space.

Looking for dark matter with the universe's coldest material
A study in PRL reports on how researchers at ICFO have built a spinor BEC comagnetometer, an instrument for studying the axion, a hypothetical particle that may explain the mystery of dark matter.

Looking for dark matter
Dark matter is thought to exist as 'clumps' of tiny particles that pass through the earth, temporarily perturbing some fundamental constants.

New technique looks for dark matter traces in dark places
A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan -- published today in the journal Science - concludes that a possible dark matter-related explanation for a mysterious light signature in space is largely ruled out.

Researchers look for dark matter close to home
Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don't know what, exactly, it is.

Galaxy formation simulated without dark matter
For the first time, researchers from the universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter.

Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Read More: Dark Matter News and Dark Matter Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to