Bologna, Italy – On Thursday, 18 April, during the closing session of the CTAO Science Symposium at Teatro Duse in Bologna, the Managing Director of the CTAO, Dr. Stuart McMuldroch, officially announced the Observatory’s new phase of growth. Supported by the 30M Euro endorsement by the CTAO’s governing bodies in September 2023, this new period puts an end to the design phase of the Observatory, as it embarks on major infrastructure development to operate intermediate telescope array configurations in the upcoming years.

“We are moving from individual prototype telescopes to building intermediate array configurations on both sites in Spain and Chile,” explained Dr. McMuldroch during his presentation. “While our goal is to reach the Alpha Configuration, these subsets will already be more powerful than any existing instrument.”

“The intermediate array configurations will have a performance two to three times better than the current generation of ground-based instruments, allowing the CTAO to detect fainter sources and minute-scale variability from gamma-ray signals,” says Roberta Zanin, CTAO Project Scientist.

The growth of the CTAO will not only be apparent in terms of hardware, but also software and personnel. Firstly, the Observatory will start applying advanced software packages, moving from testing to integrating key systems that control the telescopes and process data. Additionally, the CTAO Central Organisation will double its staff to support the advancement of the Observatory on all fronts, from science and engineering to computing and administration.

To showcase this milestone, Stuart also launched the CTAO’s new visual identity and website during his talk. An important update is that the “CTAO” will now define the Observatory and international project, discontinuing the term “CTA.”

“The CTAO is built thanks to a growing international partnership composed of various teams with different tasks, scopes and even management, but who share a common goal: to build the world’s largest gamma-ray observatory to achieve transformational science,” says Stuart. “The “CTAO” encompasses that joint effort, representing all the groups involved.”

The CTAO’s new logo and brand reflect this fresh phase of growth and collaboration with a clean, modern aesthetic that clearly positions the Observatory for its current and future status in the field. The website ( is the most visible manifestation of this transition, providing an immersive and engaging interface for the general public and scientists to interact with the science, technology and partners behind the CTAO.

Watch the launch video:

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The CTAO Enters a New Phase of Growth - CTAO