World's biggest gamma telescope under construction in Irkutsk

The world's biggest gamma telescope, Tunka-HiSCORE, is under construction at the Irkutsk State University Astrophysical Center in the Tunka Valley in Buryatia.

The world's biggest gamma telescope, Tunka-HiSCORE, is under construction at the Irkutsk State University Astrophysical Center in the Tunka Valley in Buryatia, the university press service said.

"The unique apparatus will be registering ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. In fact, the Tunka Valley facility will be studying particles with energy much higher than those in the famed Hadron Collider," it noted.

Ten optical stations and 20 stations for observing charged particles sparked by cosmic rays colliding with atoms in the atmosphere are being built at the testing range.

"Equipment supplied by Germany and valued at 92 million rubles will be used in the construction of the detectors," the report quoted Irkutsk State University Applied Physics Institute Director Prof. Nikolai Budnev.

Irkutsk physicists won a 90 million ruble grant of the Russian Education and Science Ministry in April 2013.

"The project will search for and study galactic accelerators with gamma astronomy methods and cosmic ray physics on a record sensitivity level," the press service said.

German astrophysicist, supervisor of the MAGIC project and research team at the Max Planck Institute for Physics (Germany) Razmik Mirzoyan heads the project. Budnev is the project co-leader.

"This project is particularly valuable for Russia because our scientists will no longer have to go abroad for accelerator works and leading European research centers will make a colossal material and intellectual input in the creation of our astrophysics installation," the press service said.

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