AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 141 Blazars and AGN Variability
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[141.04] Multifrequency Observations of the Exotic Behavior of the Quasar 3C 454.3 in Spring-Autumn 2005

S. Jorstad, A. Marscher (IAR, BU), I. McHardy (Southhampton U.), A. Markowitz (NASA/GSFC), D. Clements, K. Janes (IAR,BU)

We present multi-frequency optical light curves (U, B, R, and I bands) obtained at the robotic Liverpool Telescope and X-ray (2-10 keV) light curve obtained with Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) of the quasar 3C 454.3 from May 2005 to October 2005. The quasar displayed the strongest optical outburst over the last 20 yr according to the historical light curve provided by the Colgate University Foggy Bottom Observatory. The optical spectral index flattens when the object is brighter than 15 mJy in the R band and there is evidence for a delay between spectral flattening and flux increase on time scales of a few days. Correlation between the small-scale variations in the X-ray and optical light curves is poor, although the ouburst is very prononced in X-rays as well. We present images of monthly monitoring at 7~mm with the VLBA, which show a significant increase in brightness of the core region along with a rise of the polarized flux and EVPA rotation in the VLBI core. We present the first polarization observations obtained at the Perkins telescope (Lowell Observatory) in the optical and infrared regions using the new instruments PRISM and MIMIR developed at Boston University. This research was funded in part by US National Science Foundation grant AST-0406865 and NASA RXTE Guest Investigator grants.

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