AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 79 Blazars
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[79.04] The Character of the Optical Variability of Mkn 421 and Mkn 501

A.M. Williams-Campbell, H.R. Miller (Georgia State University)

The optical variability of two TeV blazars, Mkn 421 and Mkn 501 have been investigated on timescales ranging from minutes to decades. Both objects exhibit modest microvariability. However, Mkn 501 displayed microvariability similar to that of radio selected blazars. The historical light curve of Mkn 501 exhibits a range of variability ~2.7 magnitudes in R and outlines a flare. Mkn 421 displays more vigorous long-term variability with an historical range in R ~3.9 magnitudes. Results of both the short-term and long-term variability will be presented and discussed. This work was supported in part by grants from NASA, the Research Corp. and GSU's PEGA RPE program.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.