AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 78 Quasars and QSOs
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[78.05] QSO UV/Optical Continuum Variability and Accretion Disks

N. A. Pereyra, D. E. Vanden Berk, D. J. Hillier, D. A. Turnshek (University of Pittsburgh)

Using SDSS quasar spectra taken at multiple epochs, we have found that the typical flux density differences can be fit by a standard thermal accretion disk model in which the accretion rate has changed from one epoch to the next. This suggests that most of the UV/optical variability is due to processes involving the disk, and that a significant fraction of the spectrum comes directly from the disk. Thus, the UV radiation needed for processes such as line-driven winds could also be emitted by the disk itself. This work is funded in part by the National Science Foundation Grant AST-0071193.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pereyra@bruno.phyast.pitt.edu

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