AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 43 Blazar Continuum Variability Across the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Topical Associated Poster, Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 10:00am-6:45pm, West Exhibit Hall

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[43.02] Multicolor Observations of Blazars

L. Hopper, M. T. Carini, R. L. Scott, D. Barnaby, W. T. Ryle, T. R. Monroe (Western Kentucky University)

Blazars are the most extreme members of a class of objects known as Active Galactic Nuclei. The defining characteristics of Blazars are large amplitude continuum variability at all wavelengths, a featureless optical continuum, and large amplitude, highly variable polarization. Variations on the timescale of hours are known as microvariability, and represent the fastest variations observed in these sources and thus (via light travel time arguments) provide the tightest constraints on the size of the emission region. Using the 42 inch Hall telescope at Lowell Observatory and the 0.6 meter telescope at Bell Observatory at Western Kentucky University, we obtained observations of the objects PKS 0716+714 and BL Lacertae in B and I filters and the objects OJ 287 and 3C 66A in V and I filters. These observations allow us to 1) set limits to the size of the emission regions responsible for any observed microvariability and 2) determine what, if any, amplitude difference exists between the variations at widely separated optical bands and to determine if lags exist in the variations at different optical bands.

Funding for this research was provided by the NASA/Kentucky Space Grant Consortium, NASA/Kentucky EPSCoR Program and the Applied Research and Technology Program at WKU.

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© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.