MSUToday
Published: March 31, 2020

MSU astrophysicists test Einstein’s theory of relativity with extreme astronomy

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu, Caroline Brooks Communications and Brand Strategy office: 517-432-0920 brooks78@msu.edu

The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) gamma ray observatory, located in the volcanic mountains of central Mexico, is more than 13,500 feet above sea level. It observes astrophysical sources emitting light at very high energies — higher energies than produced by any accelerator on Earth. 

Its large water tanks contain sensitive light detectors, which measure showers of particles produced by the high energy gamma rays striking the atmosphere, more than 10 miles above the observatory. 

Using the capabilities of HAWC, scientists can collect and analyze HAWC data to detect new sources of very high energy gamma-ray showers that have never been detected before. 

To read full story, go to the College of Natural Science.