The Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (SCT) is a telescope concept proposed for the Cherenkov Telescope Array. It employs a dual-mirror optical design to remove comatic aberrations over an 8∘ field of view, and a high-density silicon photomultiplier camera (with a pixel resolution of 4 arcmin) to record Cherenkov emission from cosmic ray and gamma-ray initiated particle cascades in the atmosphere. The prototype SCT (pSCT), comprising a 9.7 m diameter primary mirror and a partially instrumented camera with 1536 pixels, has been constructed at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. The telescope was inaugurated in January 2019, with commissioning continuing throughout 2019. We describe the first campaign of observations with the pSCT, conducted in January and February of 2020, and demonstrate the detection of gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula with a statistical significance of 8.6 σ .
- Pub Date:
- March 2021
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 13 pages, 12 figures, 3 tables, submitted to Astroparticle Physics