MACE Telescope India

The world’s second-largest gamma-ray telescope, known as the Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE), will go live this year, reports ThePrint.

The Cerenkov telescope is also the highest in the world, located in Hanle, Ladakh at an altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level. It has a 21-meter diameter, a few meters short of the world’s largest telescope of the same class — High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) located in Namibia.

The telescope, which captures huge energy emitting gamma-ray photons, is a combined effort by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

Nilay Bhatt, a researcher at BARC, said that trial runs are being carried out and the world will likely see major scientific results in a year or two.

New Gamma-Ray Telescope

MACE works by imagining the very short flashes of Cherenkov radiation; a phenomenon where charged particle glows when they pass through a non-conducting medium under certain conditions.

The Cerenkov telescope will enable Indian astronomers to study high energy gamma rays emitted from celestial events across space such as the explosion of stars, matter falling into the black hole and more.

The telescope will study different astrophysical sources in energies of 20 GeV to 10 TeV range…Equipped with a large light collector consisting of 356 mirror panels of area 1 sqm each and 1,088 channel photomultiplier tube-based imaging camera, MACE will detect extremely short (few nanoseconds) Cherenkov flashes generated by cosmic rays.

MACE is part of seven telescopes installed in the location that will help astronomers to study gamma rays emissions from the celestial objects which might give a clue to the origin of cosmic rays and how emissions work in these processes.