Between the beginning of its full-scale scientific operations in 2007 and 2012, the VERITAS Cherenkov telescope array observed more than 130 blazars; of these, 26 were detected as very-high-energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) γ-ray sources. In this work, we present the analysis results of a sample of 114 undetected objects. The observations constitute a total live-time of ∼570 hr. The sample includes several unidentified Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources (located at high Galactic latitude) as well as all the sources from the second Fermi-LAT catalog that are contained within the field of view of the VERITAS observations. We have also performed optical spectroscopy measurements in order to estimate the redshift of some of these blazars that do not have spectroscopic distance estimates. We present new optical spectra from the Kast instrument on the Shane telescope at the Lick observatory for 18 blazars included in this work, which allowed for the successful measurement or constraint on the redshift of four of them. For each of the blazars included in our sample, we provide the flux upper limit in the VERITAS energy band. We also study the properties of the significance distributions and we present the result of a stacked analysis of the data set, which shows a 4σ excess.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, and by NSERC in Canada.
- BL Lacertae objects: general
- galaxies: active
- gamma rays: galaxies
- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal