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mountains vs. telescope
Stephanie Wissel
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Gamma-ray telescopes require powerful light concentrators to image faint Cherenkov radiation from the cascade of particles produced when a high-energy gamma ray interacts with Earth's atmosphere. The optical reflectors, or mirrors, in the image above belong to VERITAS, a ground-based gamma-ray observatory located at the base camp of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. These optical reflectors act to concentrate light for VERITAS. While VERITAS has always been a gamma-ray telescope, the original intent of the optical design employed by VERITAS was to collect energy from the sun as a potential power source.