Intranight optical variability of BL Lacs, radio‐quiet quasars and radio‐loud quasars

Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98 bis, Bd. Arago, Paris 75014, France; Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Manora Peak, Nainital 263 129, India
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.52). 12/2004; 356(2):607 - 614. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.08473.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We report monitoring observations of 20 high-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN), 12 of which are radio-quiet quasars (RQQs). Intranight optical variability (INOV) was detected for 13 of the 20 objects, including 5 RQQs. The variations are distinctly stronger and more frequent for blazars than for the other AGN classes. By combining these data with results obtained earlier in our programme, we have formed an enlarged sample consisting of 9 BL Lacs, 19 RQQs and 11 lobe-dominated radio-loud quasars (RLQs). The moderate level of rapid optical variability found for both RQQs and radio lobe-dominated quasars (LDQs) argues against a direct link between INOV and radio loudness. We supplemented the present observations of 3 BL Lacs with additional data from the literature. In this extended sample of 12 well observed BL Lacs, stronger INOV is found for the EGRET detected subset.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Literature on optical and infrared microvariability in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reflects a diversity of statistical tests and strategies to detect tiny variations in the light curves of these sources. Comparison between the results obtained using different methodologies is difficult, and the pros and cons of each statistical method are often badly understood or even ignored. Even worse, improperly tested methodologies are becoming more and more common, and biased results may be misleading with regard to the origin of the AGN microvariability. This paper intends to point future research on AGN microvariability toward the use of powerful and well-tested statistical methodologies, providing a reference for choosing the best strategy to obtain unbiased results. Light curves monitoring has been simulated for quasars and for reference and comparison stars. Changes for the quasar light curves include both Gaussian fluctuations and linear variations. Simulated light curves have been analyzed using c 2 tests, F tests for variances, one-way analyses of variance and C-statistics. Statistical Type I and Type II errors, which indicate the robustness and the power of the tests, have been obtained in each case. One-way analyses of variance and c 2 prove to be powerful and robust estimators for microvariations, while the C-statistic is not a reliable methodology and its use should be avoided.
    The Astronomical Journal 01/2010; 139(3):1269-1282. · 4.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report results of our near-infrared (NIR) photometric variability studies of the BL Lacertae (BL Lac) object S5 0716+714. NIR photometric observations were spread over seven nights during our observing run on 2007 April 2-9 at the 1.8 m telescope equipped with the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute Near-Infrared Camera System and J, H, and Ks filters at Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory, South Korea. We searched for intra-day variability (IDV), short-term variability, and color variability in the BL Lac object. We have not detected any genuine IDV in any of the J, H, and Ks passbands in our observing run. Significant short-term variabilities ~32.6%, 20.5% and 18.2% have been detected in the J, H, and Ks passbands, respectively, and ~11.9% in (J – H) color.
    The Astronomical Journal 11/2008; 136(6):2359. · 4.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although well established for BL Lac objects and radio-loud quasars, the occurrence of intra-night optical variability (INOV) in radio-quiet quasars is still debated, primarily since only a handful of INOV events with good statistical significance, albeit small amplitude, have been reported so far. This has motivated us to continue intra-night optical monitoring of bona-fide radio-quiet quasars (RQQs). Here we present the results for a sample of 11 RQQs monitored by us on 19 nights. On 5 of these nights a given RQQ was monitored simultaneously from two well separated observatories. In all, two clear cases and two probable case of INOV were detected. From these data, we estimate an INOV duty cycle of $\sim$8% for RQQs which would increase to 19% if the `probable variable' cases are also included. Such comparatively small INOV duty cycles for RQQs, together with the small INOV amplitudes ($\sim$1%), are in accord with the previously deduced characteristics of this phenomenon.
    Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India 07/2007; · 0.83 Impact Factor


Available from