The Galactic Center (GC) region hosts a variety of powerful astronomical sources and rare astrophysical processes that emit a large flux of nonthermal radiation. The inner 375 pc 600 pc region, called the Central Molecular Zone, is home to the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A∗, massive cloud complexes, and particle accelerators such as supernova remnants (SNRs). We present the results of our improved analysis of the very-high-energy gamma-ray emission above 2 TeV from the GC using 125 hr of data taken with the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System imaging-atmospheric Cerenkov telescope between 2010 and 2018. The central source VER J1745-290, consistent with the position of Sagittarius A∗, is detected at a significance of 38 standard deviations above the background level (38σ), and we report its spectrum and light curve. Its differential spectrum is consistent with a power law with exponential cutoff, with a spectral index of , a flux normalization at 5.3 TeV of cm-2 s-1, and cutoff energy of TeV. We also present results on the diffuse emission near the GC, obtained by combining data from multiple regions along the GC ridge, which yield a cumulative significance of 9.5σ. The diffuse GC ridge spectrum is best fit by a power law with a hard index of 2.19 0.20, showing no evidence of a cutoff up to 40 TeV. This strengthens the evidence for a potential accelerator of PeV cosmic rays being present in the GC. We also provide spectra of the other sources in our field of view with significant detections, composite SNR G0.9+0.1, and HESS J1746-285.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science