VERITAS Observations of a Very High Energy Gamma-ray Flare from the Blazar 3C 66A

VERITAS Collaboration
Acciari, V. A.
Aliu, E.
Arlen, T.
Beilicke, M.
Benbow, W.
Bottcher, M.
Bradbury, S. M.
Buckley, J. H.
Bugaev, V.
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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 hours live time). The observed integral flux above 200 GeV is 6% of the Crab Nebula's flux and shows evidence for variability on the time-scale 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.
Comment: 13 Pages, 4 Figures. Published in ApJL. This new version correctly calculates the intrinsic photon index (see Erratum: ApJL, 721:L203-L204)
Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics