H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System) is a system of Imaging Atmospheric Telescopes that investigates cosmic gamma rays in the 100 GeV to 100 TeV energy range. The instrument allows scientists to explore gamma-ray sources with intensities at a level of a few thousandth parts of the flux of the Crab nebula (the brightest steady source of gamma rays in the sky).H.E.S.S. is located in Namibia, near the Gamsberg Mountain, about 100 km south-west of Windhoek, the Namibian capital, an area well known for its excellent optical quality.
The first of the four telescopes of Phase I of the H.E.S.S. project went into operation in summer 2002; all four were operational in December 2003, and were officially inaugurated on September 28, 2004. The H.E.S.S. research group subsequently received the European Union's prestigious Descartes Prize for Science in Brussels on 7 March 2007. The European Union established the Descartes Prize in 2000 to highlight and recognise scientific and technological achievements based on collaboration between many countries.
Coordination is provided by ISC Intelligence in Science as one of the initiators of AERAP, together with the South African Mission to the EU.
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