Seminar Series

The sky through the H.E.S.S. eyes: a ground-based gamma-ray astronomy experiment


Professor Jean-Paul Tavernet


LPNHE Paris, Sorbonne- Université Pierre et Marie Curie

Time & Place

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:00:00 NZDT in Rutherford 531, Level 5

All are welcome


The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is an array of five Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) located in the Khomas Highland of Namibia. It is a powerful tool for investigating the non-thermal universe in the 50 GeV - 50 TeV range, the ground-based gamma-ray astronomy domain.

The array initially consisted of four 12 m telescopes, operating since 2004 as a single stereoscopic system. A decade of H.E.S.S. observations gives significant contributions to this exploring field,  This includes the H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane Survey, which provided a systematic scan of the Galactic disk with an unprecedented sensibility, spectra and morphologies of Supernova Remnants, observations of fast variability in blazars, constraints on the Extragalactic Background Light, and other important results. 


In 2012, a fifth telescope was added at the centre of the original array. This large telescope of 28 meters diameter improves the performance of the array, including a lowering of the energy threshold down to 50 GeV. Such an extension of the instrument's energy range is particularly useful for studies of transient phenomena and variable sources with soft spectra.

The description and the current status of H.E.S.S. experiment will be presented.  An overview of some recent results will be discussed such as the H.E.S.S. II observations of the Vela pulsar or the Galactic Plane Survey. The future of the experiment and of the ground-based gamma-ray astronomy with the future Cerenkov Telescope Array observatory will be exposed.