Very-high energy gamma-ray astro-particle physics is a relatively young field, and observations over the past decade have surprisingly revealed more than 250 sources which appear to act as cosmic particle accelerators These sources are an important component of the Universe, influencing the evolution of stars and galaxies. At the same time, they also act as a probe of physics in the most extreme environments known - such as in supernova explosions, and around or after the merging of black holes and neutron stars. However, the existing experiments have provided exciting glimpses, but often falling short of supplying the full answer. A deeper understanding of the TeV sky requires a significant improvement in sensitivity at TeV energies, a wider energy coverage from tens of GeV to hundreds of TeV and a much better angular and energy resolution with respect to the currently running facilities. The next generation gamma-ray observatory, the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), is the answer to this need.
In this talk I will present the scientific capabilities of this upcoming facility that will allow the entire astronomical community to, on one hand, address many still open questions and, on the other hand, explore a new discovery space that will likely lead to paradigm-changing breakthroughs. In particular, CTAO has an unprecedented sensitivity to short (sub-minute) timescale phenomena, placing it as a key instrument in the future of multi-messenger and multi-wavelength time domain astronomy. I will focus on this science case and the impact CTAO can have on this recently born field of investigation.
Oscar Blanch, Andreu Font Ribera, Lluisa-Maria Mir, Rafel Escribano