A total of four such large LST telescopes, as well as 15 Medium-Sized Telescopes (MSTs), which together will make up the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), will be constructed in the same area of the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute, ) in the northern hemisphere.
A similar telescope layout is planned to be constructed in the southern hemisphere near the ESO telescopes in Chile. In full layout the CTA will include about 120 telescopes of various sizes. The whole program is funded by the EU. through the Horizon 2020 program.
The LST-1 has a height of 45 meters and a weight of about 100 tonnes. It has a parabolic reflective surface of 23 meters in diameter, supported by a steel and carbon fiber structure. The reflective surface of 400 square meters will collect and focus on the telescope’s camera the Tzrenkov radiation, produced by low-energy gamma rays.
The LST research team in the Canary Islands includes more than 200 scientists from 10 countries, while over 1,400 scientists and engineers from 31 countries are involved in the construction of all CTA Observatory units.
When completed, CTA Observation LST’s new telescopes will monitor the sources of low and high energy gamma rays in our galaxy and beyond. It will be the first ground astronomical observatory, which will be open to the community of both astronomers and particle physicists.
Covering an enormous energy range of photons (from 20 GeV to 300 TeV), it will help – among other things – the understanding of both cosmic radiation and dark matter particles.