The MAGIC Telescopes

Gamma-ray Group

  • Gamma-ray Group

    The goal of this research line is to understand the most energetic phenomena in the universe, which generate gamma rays of energies above a few tens of GeV and at least up to hundreds of TeV, as well as to address particle physics open questions through gamma-ray observations.

    The Gamma-ray Group is led by J. Rico

    The MAGIC telescopes

    The two MAGIC telescopes were built and are operated by an international collaboration in the Canary Islands, and have a history of more than 17 years of continued, successful scientific operation. IFAE played a leading role in the design and construction of the MAGIC telescopes, notably by designing and building the whole camera of MAGIC-I and hosting the MAGIC datacenter at PIC. The group has held many top leadership positions in MAGIC, e.g. three spokespersons (O. Blanch is the current spokesperson), as well as technical, operations, software, analysis and publications coordination positions, and the Chair of MAGIC’s Time Allocation Committee. Since first light, scientists at IFAE have led analyses that produced some of the highest-impact MAGIC results, including 4 out of 6 MAGIC papers published in Science and 2 out of 2 in Nature.

    The MAGIC Telescopes
    The MAGIC Telescopes Credit: Chiara Righi. The MAGIC Collaboration.

    The Cherenokov Telescope Array

    IFAE was one of the founders and leaders of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project to build a worldwide facility for ground-based Gamma-ray Astronomy, which now includes over 1500 members. IFAE contributed decisively to bring to Spain the CTA-North observatory. Manel Martinez was CTA co-spokesperson for over 5 years. CTA will have full-sky coverage thanks to a CTA-North observatory at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) in the Canary island of La Palma and a CTA-South Observatory at ESO-Paranal in Chile. It will provide a ten-fold increase in flux sensitivity and broader energy range compared to MAGIC, thanks to its two large arrays of telescopes of three different diameters: Large-Size Telescopes (23 m), Mid-Size Telescopes (12 m), Small-Size Telescopes (6 m), with 4 LSTs and 15 MSTs in CTA-North, and 4 LSTs, 25 MSTs and 70 SSTs in CTA-South. The CTA project is currently starting production, with the first Large-Size Telescope (LST1) of CTA-North inaugurated at ORM in 2018, and taking now science data.

    LST-1 teslescope
    The LST-1 waits for the sun to set on La Palma before getting to work. Credit: Otger Ballester (IFAE)

    The IFAE group co-leads the construction of the LSTs, the most complex and relevant for the study of key Fundamental Physics questions. The camera for LST1 was assembled at IFAE, and saw first light in 2019. IFAE members have been serving the project with responsibilities such as the Steering Committee Chair, systems engineer, camera coordinator and software coordinator. The activities are now gradually drifting from commissioning to scientific exploitation, including the combined analysis of MAGIC and LST1 data, for which IFAE is in a privileged position.

    Multimessenger astronomy

    In the framework of the ASTERICS and ESCAPE H2020 projects, IFAE is contributing to the design and implementation of public data models and analysis tools for gamma-ray astronomy. In addition, the group has recently embarked into multimessenger activities, aiming to correlate MAGIC signals with public alerts from neutrinos and gravitational waves.

    Next generation gamma-rays detectors

    Finally, IFAE recently started participating in the design of HERD, a next-generation detector on board the upcoming Chinese space station, for the study of high-energy cosmic- and gamma-rays, complementary to CTA. IFAE has the responsibility of optimizing the performance of the detector for gamma-rays and designing the corresponding trigger system.

  • Group Members

    Gamma-ray Group

    Staff Researcher

    • Oscar Blanch

      Oscar Blanch

    • Manel Martinez

      Manel Martinez

    • Abelardo Moralejo

      Abelardo Moralejo

    • Javier Rico

      Javier Rico

    Postdoc Researcher

    • Victor Acciari

      Victor Acciari

    • Marie Karjalainen

      Marie Karjalainen

    • Daniel Kerszberg

      Daniel Kerszberg

    • Patricia Marquez

      Patricia Marquez

    • Cosimo Nigro

      Cosimo Nigro

    • Njoh Theodore

      Njoh Theodore

    PhD Student

    • Manuel Artero

      Manuel Artero

    • Elia Do Souto

      Elia Do Souto

    • Luis Fariña

      Luis Fariña

    • Roger Grau

      Roger Grau

    • Chaitanya Priyadarshi

      Chaitanya Priyadarshi

    • Alejandro Pérez

      Alejandro Pérez

  • International Collaborations

    Gamma-ray Group

    The MAGIC Telescopes


    The MAGIC Telescopes

    MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov) is a system of two 17 m diameter, F/1.03 Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT). They are dedicated to the observation of gamma rays from galactic and extragalactic sources in the very high energy range (VHE, 30 GeV to 100 TeV).

      Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain
    Proposed CTA Telescopes


    The Cherenkov Telescope Array

    The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies. With more than 100 telescopes located in the northern and southern hemispheres, CTA will be the world's largest and most sensitive high-energy gamma-ray observatory.

      ORM, La Palma & Paranal, Chile
  • Research Projects

    Gamma-ray Group



    Astronomy ESFRI and Research Infrastructure Cluster

    The ASTERICS project is a collaborative cluster for the next generation ESFRI telescope facilities (ELT, CTA, SKA, KM3NeT, EST) and other relevant research infrastructure initiatives in the area of astronomy, astrophysics and astroparticle physics.



    European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures

    ESCAPE aims to address the Open Science challenges shared by ESFRI facilities (CTA, ELT, EST, FAIR, HL-LHC, KM3NeT, SKA) as well as other pan-European research infrastructures (CERN, ESO, JIV-ERIC, EGO-Virgo) in astronomy and particle physics research domains.



    High Energy Cosmic Radiation Detection

    HERD is one of the Cosmic Lighthouse Program onboard China’s Space Station, planned to be launched and assembled in 2020. Its main objectives are detecting dark matter particle, study of cosmic ray composition and high energy gamma-ray observations.



    Quantum gravity phenomenology in the multi-messenger approach

    COST Action to gather theoretical and experimental groups to work in the prediction and possibility of detection of physical phenomena characteristic from quantum gravity theories.

  • Selected Publications

    Gamma-ray Group

    • Adam R et al.,
      Sensitivity of the Cherenkov Telescope Array to a dark matter signal from the Galactic centre,
      Journal Of Cosmology And Astroparticle Physics 2021 (2021) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi S et al.,
      MAGIC Observations of the Nearby Short Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 160821B,
      Astrophysical Journal 908 (2021) [DOI]
    • Abe, H et al.,
      Sensitivity of the Cherenkov Telescope Array for probing cosmology and fundamental physics with gamma-ray propagation,
      Journal Of Cosmology And Astroparticle Physics 2021 (2021) [DOI]
    • Rico J,
      Gamma-Ray Dark Matter Searches in Milky Way Satellites-A Comparative Review of Data Analysis Methods and Current Results,
      Galaxies 8 (2020) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi S et al.,
      A search for dark matter in Triangulum II with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Physics Of The Dark Universe 28 (2020) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S. et al.,
      Bounds on Lorentz Invariance Violation from MAGIC Observation of GRB 190114C,
      Physical Review Letters 125 (2020) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Measurement of the extragalactic background light using MAGIC and Fermi-LAT gamma-ray observations of blazars up to z=1,
      Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society 486 (2019) [DOI]
    • Cortina J et al.,
      The Light-Trap: A novel concept for a large SiPM-based pixel for Very High Energy gamma-ray astronomy and beyond,
      Nuclear Instruments & Methods In Physics Research Section A-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors And Associated Equipment 923 (2019) [DOI]
    • Deil C et al.,
      Towards open and reproducible multi-instrument analysis in gamma-ray astronomy,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 625 (2019) [DOI]
    • MAGIC Collaboration,
      Teraelectronvolt emission from the γ-ray burst GRB 190114C,
      Nature 575 (2019) [DOI]
    • Veres P et al.,
      Observation of inverse Compton emission from a long γ-ray burst,
      Nature 575 (2019) [DOI]
    • Navarro-Girones, D et al.,
      Pointing optimization for IACTs on indirect dark matter searches,
      Astroparticle Physics 104 (2019) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi S et al.,
      Constraining very-high-energy and optical emission from FRB 121102 with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society 481 (2018) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Constraining dark matter lifetime with a deep gamma-ray survey of the Perseus galaxy cluster with MAGIC,
      Physics Of The Dark Universe 22 (2018) [DOI]
    • Benbow, W et al.,
      Periastron Observations of TeV Gamma-Ray Emission from a Binary System with a 50-year Period,
      Astrophysical Journal Letters 867 (2018) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Constraints on particle acceleration in SS433/W50 from MAGIC and HESS observations,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 612 (2018) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Indirect dark matter searches in the dwarf satellite galaxy Ursa Major II with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Journal Of Cosmology And Astroparticle Physics 2018 (2018) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Search for very high-energy gamma-ray emission from the microquasar Cygnus X-1 with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society 472 (2017) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      MAGIC observations of the microquasar V404 Cygni during the 2015 outburst,
      Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society 471 (2017) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Performance of the MAGIC telescopes under moonlight,
      Astroparticle Physics 94 (2017) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Detection of very high energy gamma-ray emission from the gravitationally lensed blazar QSO B0218+357 with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 595 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Search for VHE gamma-ray emission from Geminga pulsar and nebula with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 591 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Super-orbital variability of LS I+61 degrees 303 at TeV energies,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 591 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      MAGIC observations of the February 2014 flare of 1ES 1011+496 and ensuing constraint of the EBL density,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 590 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Limits to dark matter annihilation cross-section from a combined analysis of MAGIC and Fermi-LAT observations of dwarf satellite galaxies,
      Journal Of Cosmology And Astroparticle Physics 2016 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      The major upgrade of the MAGIC telescopes, Part II: A performance study using observations of the Crab Nebula,
      Astroparticle Physics 72 (2016) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      Very high-energy gamma-ray observations of novae and dwarf novae with the MAGIC telescopes,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 582 (2015) [DOI]
    • Ansoldi, S et al.,
      MAGIC observations of MWC 656, the only known Be/BH system,
      Astronomy & Astrophysics 576 (2015) [DOI]
  • Group News

    New IFAE Member

    New member in the Gamma-ray Group

    May 5, 2021

    Roger Grau has just joined the Gamma-ray Groups at IFAE as PhD student. Roger got his Physics Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at UAB.


    The Raman LIDAR Pathfinder on CTA-North Site Achieves First Light

    April 7, 2021

    On the evening of the 25 March, the Barcelona Raman LIDAR Pathfinder installed on the CTA-North site at the ORM achieved first light.


    CLUE container arrives at IFAE for LIDARs R&D

    March 3, 2021

    Last Thursday the CLUE (Cherenkov Light Ultraviolet Experiment) container arrived at IFAE from the ORM. It now occupies the place where the Barcelona Raman LIDAR was placed. It will become a R&D platform for developing LIDAR for cherenkov astronomy and various other possible applications.


    HERD 9th international workshop

    February 27, 2021

    The HERD 9th international WORKSHOP (online) happened between 22-23 February Manel Martínez, Luis Fariña and Javier Rico were attending

    Instrumentation Milestone

    The Barcelona Raman Lidar installation in the ORM

    February 10, 2021

    This week Manel Martínez and a team of engineers formed by Otger Ballester, Rafa Garcia, Juan Boix, Pau Llanes are at the ORM installing and verifying the Barcelona Raman LIDAR and doing repair and maintenance work on the azimuth system of the LST1.

    Collaboration Meeting

    8th MAGIC Stereo Analysis Workshop

    January 27, 2021

    The event is taking place online. Cosimo Nigro, Jordi Delgado, Merve Colak and Abelardo Moralejo are participating as teachers.