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New gamma-ray observatory begins operations at Mexican volcano

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The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma Ray Observatory has begun formal operations at its site in Mexico.
HAWC is designed to study the origin of very high-energy cosmic rays and observe the most energetic objects in the known universe. This extraordinary observatory, using a unique detection technique that differs from the classical astronomical design of mirrors, lenses, and antennae, is a significant boost to international scientific and technical knowledge.
“The HAWC observatory will search for signals from dark matter and to study some of the most extreme objects in the universe, such as supermassive black holes and exploding stars,” said Brenda Dingus, principal investigator and a research fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dingus is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2000 was a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
HAWC is located at an altitude of 4,100 meters on the slope of the volcanoes Sierra Negra and Pico de Orizaba at the border between the states of Puebla and Veracruz.


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