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 site viewed from the slope of Sierra Negra
X01, the 300th HAWC tank to be deployed at Sierra Negra, is completed on Dec. 15, 2014 (see breaking news).

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

Tank Assembly Completed with Deployment of 300th Tank

December 15, 2014

Today at noon, the assembly of the HAWC tanks ended with the completion of the steel frame of tank X01, the 300th tank to be deployed on the observatory platform at Sierra Negra. During the next few weeks, X01 and approximately 40 other tanks at the site will have bladders installed, be filled with water, and be incorporated into the data acquisition system, thus completing the full array after two years of construction.

View of HAWC-300 from Sierra Negra.
View of the 300 completed steel tanks in HAWC from the summit of Sierra Negra, December 15, 2014. Photo: E. Moreno (BUAP).