AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 138. AGN - Surveys
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[138.11] The Photometric Variability of 10000 Quasars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

B. C. Wilhite (Chicago), D. E. Vanden Berk (Fermilab), R. G. Kron (Chicago), SDSS Collaboration

We present results on the photometric variability properties of more than 10000 quasars found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Quasar candidates are selected from the 5-band imaging data, and confirmed at a later epoch in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. By convolving the spectra with the SDSS filter transmission functions, spectroscopic magnitudes can be generated for the SDSS g, r, and i bands. Because of the high quality of the SDSS spectra, we are able to match spectroscopic and photometric magnitudes for point sources to a relative accuracy of \approx 0.05 mag. To date, we have 3-band photometric variability information for over 10000 quasars -- almost two orders of magnitude more than any previous quasar variability survey. The redshift range of the sample extends to greater than 5, and the rest frame time lags span up to 600 days. Parameters significantly correlated with variability include time lag, redshift, rest wavelength, and quasar color. We also examine quasar variability in sub-samples separated by radio loudness, x-ray brightness, spectral index, and emission line parameters.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a joint project of The University of Chicago, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, The Johns Hopkins University, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington. Apache Point Observatory, site of the SDSS telescopes, is operated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC).

Funding for the project has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the SDSS member institutions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, and the Max Planck Society. The SDSS Web site is http://www.sdss.org/.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wilhite@oddjob.uchicago.edu

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