Optical intensity interferometry observations using the MAGIC Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes



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Acciari, V. A. and Bernardos, M. I. and Colombo, E. and Contreras González, José Luis and Cortina, J. and Delgado, C. and Díaz, C. and Fink, D. and Mariotti, M. and Mangano, S. and Mirzoyan, R. and Polo, M. and Schweizer, T. and Will, M. (2020) Optical intensity interferometry observations using the MAGIC Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 491 (2). pp. 1540-1547. ISSN 0035-8711

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz3171


Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) currently in operation feature large mirrors and order of 1 ns time response to signals of a few photo-electrons produced by optical photons. This means that they are ideally suited for optical interferometry observations. Thanks to their sensitivity to visible wavelengths and long baselines optical intensity interferometry with IACTs allows reaching angular resolutions of tens to microarcseconds. We have installed a simple optical setup on top of the cameras of the two 17 m diameter Major Atmospheric Gamma-Ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) IACTs and observed coherent fluctuations in the photon intensity measured at the two telescopes for three different stars. The sensitivity is roughly 10 times better than that achieved in the 1970s with the Narrabri interferometer.

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© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Artículo firmado por 15 autores. This work would have been impossible without the support of our colleagues of the MAGIC collaboration. We would also like to thank the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the ORM. The financial support of the German Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung and Max Planck Gesellschaft, the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Empresa partly using European Research Development Funds (FPA2017-82729-C6-6-R and C6-3-R) is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Spanish Unidad de Excelencia 'María de Maeztu' (MDM-2014-0369) and by the 2018 Leonardo Grant for Researchers and Cultural Creators from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Foundation.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Major upgrade; Performance
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Nuclear physics
ID Code:60168
Deposited On:27 Apr 2020 10:11
Last Modified:27 Apr 2020 10:34

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