A new generation of low threshold imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) may reach γ-ray energies about 10 GeV with high sensitivities and very large collection areas. At these low energies cosmic electrons significantly contribute to the telescope background and are in principle indistinguishable from γ-rays. In this paper we estimate the electron background expected for two configurations of the low energy IACT MAGIC. We discuss in particular the reduction of the background caused by the geomagnetic field at different locations on the Earth's surface. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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