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. The 150+ sources detected by these instruments, and the wide range of high impact scientific results, suggest that particle acceleration is common in nature, and that the known objects are just the tip of the iceberg.
With its superior performance, the prospects for CTA combine guaranteed science – the in-depth understanding of known objects and mechanisms – with anticipated detection of new classes of gamma-ray emitters and new phenomena, and a very significant potential for fundamentally new discoveries.
CTA 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
To address these themes, CTA will observe the following key targets: