Study Topics

Venturing beyond the high-energy frontier

Further Reading

White Paper of the CTAO's Science Cases

Download from arXiv

Next Generation Gamma-Ray Astronomy

Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy is a young field with enormous scientific potential. The current generation instruments H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS have already demonstrated the huge physical potential of astrophysical measurements at teralectronvolt (TeV) energies. They have detected more than 200 sources and discovered new classes of TeV emitters, yielding a wide range of highimpact scientific results.  


With its superior performance, the prospects for the CTAO combine guaranteed science – the in-depth understanding of known objects and mechanisms – with a very significant potential for fundamentally new discoveries and new phenomena. 



Study Themes


The CTAO will seek to address questions in and beyond astrophysics. These questions fall under three major themes of study: 


  • Theme 1: Understanding the Origin and Role of Relativistic Cosmic Particles 
  • Theme 2: Probing Extreme Environments 
  • Theme 3: Exploring Frontiers in Physics 



Learn more about the themes and questions.

Key Targets


To address these themes, the following key targets have been proposed for the CTAO observing programme:


Top Background Image: Carina Nebula, NASA/ESA/ N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Study Themes

Key Targets