The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory

The HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory

TeV gamma rays are markers of the most extreme environments in the known universe: supernova explosions, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts. Gamma rays are thought to be correlated with the acceleration sites of charged cosmic rays, whose origins have been a mystery for nearly 100 years.

HAWC 300
The complete HAWC Observatory, with Sierra Negra in the background.

The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory, or HAWC, is a facility designed to observe TeV gamma rays and cosmic rays with an instantaneous aperture that covers more than 15% of the sky. With this large field of view, the detector will be exposed to two-thirds of the sky during a 24-hour period.

HAWC is currently under construction on the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano near Puebla, Mexico. Located at an altitude of 4100 meters, HAWC will be used to perform a high-sensitivity synoptic survey of the sky at wavelengths between 100 GeV and 100 TeV.

Latest News

HAWC Awarded Funding to Construct an Array of Outrigger Tanks

September 25, 2015

HAWC Collaborator Brenda Dingus (Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA) has been awarded a Laboratory Directed Research and Development grant to construct a sparse array of "outrigger" tanks around the central HAWC array. The purpose of the outriggers is to enhance the effective area and sensitivity of the detector to air showers above 10 TeV by a factor of 2 to 4.

OR array
Left: location of HAWC between Sierra Negra and Pico de Orizaba. Right: a zoomed-in view of the HAWC site showing the completed central array and a possible layout of the outrigger array.