Leicester astronomers help boost supersized telescope
H.E.S.S II is a supersized telescope weighing nearly 580 tonnes, the largest of its type. It is one of three Cherenkov systems in operation, designed to detect gamma rays by observing Cherenkov radiation, and to aid the search for new high energy cosmic sources.
Professor Jim Hinton is a key member of the international team operating the observatory and his group have helped to upgrade the four original telescopes to fully exploit H.E.S.S.’s potential. These smaller telescopes, with the slightly more modest 12 metre mirrors as opposed to the hefty 28 metre mirror on the larger telescope, form the H.E.S.S. Array in Namibia.
The project has received various awards and is ranked alongside the likes of the Hubble Telescope and the telescopes of the European Sothern Observatory. The upgrade was also reported in New Scientist magazine.