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HESS gamma ray telescope array, Namibia

HESS gamma ray telescope array, Namibia

R184/0023

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Credit

PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

HESS gamma ray telescope array. Aerial photograph of the four gamma ray telescopes making up the HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System) array on the Gamsberg plateau, in Namibia. The telescopes are Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs), and they detect the flashes of Cherenkov radiation produced as high-energy gamma rays and cosmic rays hit the Earth's atmosphere. This effectively uses the Earth's atmosphere to detect the incoming radiation. The HESS array is used to investigate gamma ray sources such as supernova remnants and pulsars. The four telescopes, each 12 metres in diameter, form a square 120 metres wide. The HESS array has been operational since December 2003. Photographed in January 2006.

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