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VERITAS discovery of a new VHE Gamma-ray Source, VER J0521+211

ATEL # 2260; Rene A. Ong (for the VERITAS Collaboration)
on 25 Oct 2009; 23:42 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Request for Observations)
Password Certification: Rene Ong (

Subjects: Gamma Ray, >GeV, Request for Observations, AGN

The VERITAS Collaboration reports the discovery of a new very high energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray source, VER J0521+211, at R.A. = 80.48, Dec. = +21.19 (J2000), with a positional uncertainty of about 0.05 degrees. This new VHE source was detected with a significance of 5.5 standard deviations in 230 minutes of observations between 22 October 2009 and 24 October 2009 (UT) with the VERITAS atmospheric-Cherenkov telescope array. The observations were motivated by the identification of a high energy (>30 GeV) source at this position in the public Fermi-LAT data. This position is also consistent, within errors, with the position of the radio-loud active galaxy RGB J0521.8+2112, detected in the ROSAT all-sky X-ray survey and included in the RASS-Green Bank catalog, for which the redshift is unknown. The VHE flux measured by VERITAS is ~5% of the steady Crab Nebula flux above 200 GeV. Observations at all wavelengths are encouraged in order to clarify the nature of this object. In particular, optical spectroscopy would be extremely valuable to determine the unknown redshift.


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