The Galactic center is an interesting region for high-energy (0.1-100 GeV) and very-high-energy (E > 100 GeV) γ-ray observations. Potential sources of GeV/TeV γ-ray emission have been suggested, e.g., the accretion of matter onto the supermassive black hole, cosmic rays from a nearby supernova remnant (e.g., Sgr A East), particle acceleration in a plerion, or the annihilation of dark matter particles. The Galactic center has been detected by EGRET and by Fermi/LAT in the MeV/GeV energy band. At TeV energies, the Galactic center was detected with moderate significance by the CANGAROO and Whipple 10 m telescopes and with high significance by H.E.S.S., MAGIC, and VERITAS. We present the results from three years of VERITAS observations conducted at large zenith angles resulting in a detection of the Galactic center on the level of 18 standard deviations at energies above ∼2.5 TeV. The energy spectrum is derived and is found to be compatible with hadronic, leptonic, and hybrid emission models discussed in the literature. Future, more detailed measurements of the high-energy cutoff and better constraints on the high-energy flux variability will help to refine and/or disentangle the individual models.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science