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Session 99 - Blazars.
Display session, Thursday, January 16
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[99.03] Optical Variability of the BL Lac Object 1418+546

T. J. Balonek (Colgate Univ.), A. F. Schirmer (Swarthmore Coll.), J. S. Kern, C. A. Tremonti (Colgate Univ.)

The BVRI variability of the BL Lacertae type quasar 1418+546 over a two year time period is presented. CCD observations were obtained of the 1418+546 field on 136 nights in four filters from January, 1995, to July, 1996, using the Colgate University Foggy Bottom Observatory 16-inch telescope. BVRI and color index light curves were obtained from the nearly 1400 images. There is a base level (about magnitude 15.5 in R) from which the quasar frequently flared to around 14th magnitude. Although the outbursts have different amplitudes and durations, several outbursts exhibit similar profiles and color changes. There exists a strong correlation between the brightness in R and the color indices R-I and V-R, with the color indices decreasing as the source brightens (R-I = 0.55 at R = 15.5; R-I = 0.35 at R = 13.9). Assuming that the minimum brightness we observed during this two year interval corresponds to that of a long-term stable component, we remove this contribution from the total brightness and model the evolution of the individual outbursts.

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Program listing for Thursday