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 Full Operations
The HAWC Observatory was officially inaugurated on Mar. 20, 2015 during a ceremony at Sierra Negra (see breaking news). Image credit: M. Schneider, UC Santa Cruz.

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 Observatory Formally Inaugurated in Ceremony at Sierra Negra

March 20, 2015

Construction of the HAWC Observatory began four years ago. Today, the detector was formally inaugurated by members of the collaboration, representatives from collaborating institutions and the particle astrophysics community, and representatives from CONACyT, the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Department of Energy (DOE) in a ceremony at the detector site at Sierra Negra.

Enrique Cabrero, General Director of CONACyT, and France Córdova, Director of the NSF, complete the HAWC Inauguration Ceremony by starting a new detector run. (Image credit: La Razón de San Luis Potosí.)