Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

VERITAS Observations of The Galactic Center Ridge Above 2 TeV

A. W. Smith


The Galactic Center Ridge is perhaps the most local, busy environment for high energy particle acceleration; home to many relativistic particle accelerators such as pulsar wind nebulae, supernova remnants, and the central supermassive black hole SgrA*. Observations with VHE (>100 GeV) gamma-ray telescopes of the region have revealed multiple point sources associated with well known objects, as well as regions of extended emission not directly associated with targets at other wavelengths. More importantly, the detection of a large, diffuse component of >300 GeV gamma-ray emission by the HESS collaboration is strongly believed to be the result of accelerated cosmic rays interacting with molecular cloud regions, thus providing a window into high energy cosmic ray acceleration. Here we present the VERITAS observations of the Galactic Center Ridge taken from 2008-2014 in the >2 TeV regime. These observations have revealed a distinct extended component extending along the Galactic Plane which may be due to either diffuse or unresolved point sources. Theses observations also reveal a new source of >2 TeV gamma rays adjacent to Sgr A*, VER J1746-289. We examine possible multi-wavelength correlations with this source which may indicate the origin of its VHE emission.