VERITAS OBSERVATIONS OF A VERY HIGH ENERGY gamma-RAY FLARE FROM THE BLAZAR 3C 66A


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Acciari V. A. , Aliu E., Arlen T., Beilicke M., Benbow W., Boettcher M., ...More

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS, vol.693, no.2, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 693 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/0004-637x/693/2/l104
  • Title of Journal : ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS

Abstract

The intermediate-frequency peaked BL Lacertae (IBL) object 3C 66A is detected during 2007-2008 in VHE ( very high energy; E > 100 GeV) gamma rays with the VERITAS stereoscopic array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. An excess of 1791 events is detected, corresponding to a significance of 21.2 standard deviations (sigma), in these observations (32.8 hr live time). The observed integral flux above 200 GeV is 6% of the Crab Nebula's flux and shows evidence for variability on the timescale of days. The measured energy spectrum is characterized by a soft power law with photon index Gamma = 4.1 +/- 0.4(stat) +/- 0.6(sys). The radio galaxy 3C 66B is excluded as a possible source of the VHE emission.