Special Session SS27  28 June 2021

Under the Gamma-ray sky of Canary Islands

Aims and scope

Very high-energy gamma-ray astrophysics provides unique observations of the unexplored Universe at VHEs, a region of the electromagnetic spectrum covering four decades in energy above 20 GeV. This is an exciting field covering a very wide range of scientific themes from fundamental physics, to cosmic ray physics and astrophysics related to the most extreme processes. This is the last born within the non-thermal astronomical fields and, since its establishment, it led to the discovery of more than 200 sources at VHEs.

The Canary Islands have a long tradition of VHE gamma-ray astronomy hosting the sites of three, out of the four, generations of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs). The first stereoscopic array of this kind of telescopes, the HEGRA experiment, was installed at the Observatorio de Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in the island of La Palma, in the 90s. The same site is currently hosting the MAGIC telescopes (since 2003), FACT, a prototype g-Apd Cherenkov Telescope (since 2012), and the first Large Sized Telescope (LST, since 2018), a prototype of the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). CTA will be the first gamma-ray VHE observatory that will open to the worldwide astronomical and particle physics communities. CTA will consist of two telescope arrays located in two different sites, one of which is the above-mentioned at the ORM (La Palma, Spain) and another one in the Southern hemisphere (Atacama Desert, Chile). In addition, very recently the Observatorio del Teide in the island of Tenerife has been selected as the site for hosting the ASTRI-Mini Array, a pathfinder of dual-mirror IACTs array.

The goal of this Symposium is to propose a comprehensive view of the large potential offered by the study of this, still largely unexplored, energy band and synergies of telescopes in the Canary Islands for investigating the extreme Universe accessible by the northern sky. We aim to summarize the status of the field and its major scientific achievements, with a particular focus on the following scientific topics: compact objects and relativistic shocks, cosmic particle acceleration up to PeV energies, fundamental physics, multi-wavelength and multi-messenger observations. We will emphasize what's the contribution of the facilities running in Canary Islands, both in terms of currently running (MAGIC) and future ones (ASTRI-Mini Array and the CTA observatory). After reviewing the current observational status, as well as the latest theoretical advancements on the very high energy astrophysics, the Symposium will address the question how new instruments are expected to revolutionize this field and the advantages of sharing sky with other telescopes


  • Review of current observational status of gamma ray astronomy.
  • Hot topics and open questions on gamma ray astronomy.
  • The prospective observational revolution of the future instruments in a multiwavelength and multimessanger context.

Invited speakers

Scientific organisers

  • L. Angelo Antonelli (Chair) (INAF-OAR)
  • Josefa Becerra(IAC)
  • Patrizia Caraveo(INAF-IASF)
  • Emma de Ona Wilhelmi(DESY/ICE)
  • Elina Lindfors(Univ. of Turku)
  • David Paneque(MPI-MPP)
  • Elisa Prandini(Univ. of Padua)
  • Antonio Stamerra(INAF-OAR)
  • Masahiro Teshima(MPI-MPP and Univ. of Tokyo)
  • Roberta Zanin(CTA Obs.)


L. Angelo Antonelli angelo.antonelli_AT_inaf.it

Updated on Mon Feb 22 12:37:24 CET 2021