We report the detection of a new TeV gamma-ray source, VER J0521+211, based on observations made with the VERITAS imaging atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope Array. These observations were motivated by the discovery of a cluster of >30 GeV photons in the first year of Fermi Large Area Telescope observations. VER J0521+211 is relatively bright at TeV energies, with a mean photon flux of (1.93 ± 0.13stat ± 0.78sys) × 10 -11 cm-2 s-1 above 0.2 TeV during the period of the VERITAS observations. The source is strongly variable on a daily timescale across all wavebands, from optical to TeV, with a peak flux corresponding to ∼0.3 times the steady Crab Nebula flux at TeV energies. Follow-up observations in the optical and X-ray bands classify the newly discovered TeV source as a BL Lac-type blazar with uncertain redshift, although recent measurements suggest z = 0.108. VER J0521+211 exhibits all the defining properties of blazars in radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths.
- gamma rays: galaxies