Document Type

Article

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Disciplines

Astrophysics and Astronomy | External Galaxies | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy

CIT Disciplines

1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Publication Details

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Abstract

We report the detection of very high energy γ-ray emission from the intermediate-frequency-peaked BL Lacertae object W Comae (z = 0.102) by VERITAS. The source was observed between 2008 January and April. A strong outburst of γ-ray emission was measured in the middle of March, lasting for only 4 days. The energy spectrum measured during the two highest flare nights is fit by a power law and is found to be very steep, with a differential photon spectral index of Γ = 3.81 ± 0.35stat± 0.34syst. The integral photon flux above 200 GeV during those two nights corresponds to roughly 9% of the flux from the Crab Nebula. Quasi-simultaneous Swift observations at X-ray energies were triggered by the VERITAS observations. The spectral energy distribution of the flare data can be described by synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) or external Compton (EC) leptonic jet models.

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