A wide-field astronomical gamma-ray observatory

at high-altitude in the southern hemisphere

- developed in Växjö, Småland (Sweden) -

ALTO is the name given by the Astroparticle Physics group at Linnaeus University (Linnéuniversitetet) in Växjö (Småland, Sweden) to a project aiming to build a gamma-ray astronomical observatory at high-altitude in the southern hemisphere. Candidate sites for the installation of ALTO are in Argentina and in Chile.

ALTO belongs to the family of particle detectors for gamma-ray astronomy installed on the Earth's ground. This technique allows to see the energetic gamma-ray sky 24h/day with no interruptions.

The figure shown above is just a simple sketch of a cosmic gamma-ray (in pink) interacting in the atmosphere and giving rise to a "cascade" of particles in the atmosphere which can be detected by devices installed on the ground (black squares).

Currently the ALTO project is in the design study phase and soon in 2017 the project will enter the prototyping phase.

For any enquiry about the project, contact the project leader Yvonne Becherini.

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  • Magellanic Clouds in the Southern Skies above Chile: image credit NASA, ESO/Y. Beletsky
  • Credit: NSF/J. Yang
  • Credit: Diagram by NASA's Imagine the Universe; telescope image from the HESS Collaboration.
  • A sketch of a gamma-ray induced shower hitting the ALTO observatory. Credits: Linnaeus University
  • A single ALTO detection unit. Credit: Linnaeus University
  • Aerial view of the full ALTO 1242-unit array. Credit: Linnaeus University