8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 30 VERITAS Workshop
Oral, Friday, September 10, 2004, 4:00-6:00pm

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[30.02] Very High Energy Gamma Ray Astrophysics: The New Era and Multiwavelength Science

A. D. Falcone (Purdue University)

As the latest generation of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) begin to come on line, a new era for very high energy (VHE) gamma-ray astrophysics is beginning. The new telescopes, particularly CANGAROO-III, HESS, MAGIC and VERITAS, will provide unprecedented information due to improved energy resolution, improved angular resolution, lower energy thresholds, and increased sensitivity. In addition to the new IACTs, all sky extended air shower experiments have the potential to contribute to multiwavelength studies by providing nearly continuous coverage of the entire overhead sky, albeit at less sensitivity than the IACTs. The increased sensitivity and lower threshold of the new IACTs will provide a much broader and deeper source catalog, opening new categories of multiwavelength studies. These sources will include active galactic nuclei, pulsars and supernova remnants, and may also include sources such as gamma ray bursts, starburst galaxies, massive dark objects and other more exotic phenomena. The shorter timescales that will be probed and the improved spectral capabilities will make contemporaneous observations with instruments at other wavelengths very valuable. By probing the extreme nature of the objects with VHE instruments and comparing this data with data ranging from radio to MeV energies, the source environment and acceleration mechanisms can be constrained. In this talk, the next generation of telescopes will be described, particularly in the context of multiwavelength science and the strategies that can be used to coordinate observations.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: afalcone@egret.sao.arizona.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.