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Precursor flares in OJ 287  [PDF]
P. Pihajoki,M. Valtonen,S. Zola,A. Liakos,M. Drozdz,M. Winiarski,W. Ogloza,D. Koziel-Wierzbowska,J. Provencal,K. Nilsson,A. Berdyugin,E. Lindfors,R. Reinthal,A. Sillanp??,L. Takalo,M. M. M. Santangelo,H. Salo,S. Chandra,S. Ganesh,K. S. Baliyan,S. A. Coggins-Hill,A. Gopakumar
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/764/1/5
Abstract: We have studied three most recent precursor flares in the light curve of the blazar OJ 287 while invoking the presence of a precessing binary black hole in the system to explain the nature of these flares. Precursor flare timings from the historical light curves are compared with theoretical predictions from our model that incorporate effects of an accretion disk and post-Newtonian description for the binary black hole orbit. We find that the precursor flares coincide with the secondary black hole descending towards the accretion disk of the primary black hole from the observed side, with a mean z-component of approximately z_c = 4000 AU. We use this model of precursor flares to predict that precursor flare of similar nature should happen around 2020.96 before the next major outburst in 2022.
Fast variability of gamma-ray emission from supermassive black hole binary OJ 287  [PDF]
Andrii Neronov,Ievgen Vovk
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17997.x
Abstract: We report the discovery of fast variability of gamma-ray flares from blazar OJ 287. This blazar is known to be powered by binary system of supermassive black holes. The observed variability time scale T_var < 3-10 hr is much shorter than the light crossing time of more massive (1.8x10^10 solar masses) black hole and is comparable to the light crossing time of the less massive (1.3x10^8 solar masses) black hole. This indicates that gamma-ray emission is produced by relativistic jet ejected by the black hole of smaller mass. Detection of gamma rays s with energies in excess of 10 GeV during the fast variable flares constrains the Doppler factor of the jet to be larger than 4. Possibility of the study of orbital modulation of emission from relativistic jet makes OJ 287 a unique laboratory for the study of the mechanism(s) of formation of jets by black holes, in particular, of the response of the jet parameters to the changes of the parameters of the medium from which the black hole accretes and into which the jet expands.
Gamma-ray emission region located in the parsec scale jet of OJ287  [PDF]
Ivan Agudo,Svetlana G. Jorstad,Alan P. Marscher,Valeri M. Larionov,Jose L. Gomez,Anne Lahteenmaki,Mark Gurwell,Paul S. Smith,Helmut Wiesemeyer,Clemens Thum,Jochen Heidt
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/355/1/012032
Abstract: We report on the location of the gamma-ray emission region in flares of the BL Lacertae object OJ287 at >14pc from the central supermassive black hole. We employ data from multi-spectral range (total flux and linear polarization) monitoring programs combined with sequences of ultra-high-resolution 7mm VLBA images. The correlation between the brightest gamma-ray and mm flares is found to be statistically significant. The two gamma-ray peaks, detected by Fermi-LAT, that we report here happened at the rising phase of two exceptionally bright mm flares accompanied by sharp linear polarization peaks. The VLBA images show that these mm flares in total flux and polarization degree occurred in a jet region at >14pc from the innermost jet region. The time coincidence of the brighter gamma-ray flare and its corresponding mm linear polarization peak evidences that both the gamma-ray and mm outbursts occur >14pc from the central black hole. We find two sharp optical flares occurring at the peak times of the two reported gamma-ray flares. This is interpreted as the gamma-ray flares being produced by synchrotron self-Compton scattering of optical photons from the flares triggered by the interaction of moving knots with a stationary conical shock in the jet.
Short time-scale periodicity in OJ 287  [PDF]
Pauli Pihajoki,Mauri Valtonen,Stefano Ciprini
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1233
Abstract: We have studied short-term variations of the blazar OJ 287, suspected to host a supermassive black hole binary. In this study, we use a two-season optical R-band dataset from 2004--2006 which consists of 3991 data points from the OJ 287 observation campaign. It has sections of dense time coverage, and is largely independent from previously published data. We find that this data confirms the existence of a ~50 day periodic component, presumably related to the half-period of the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) of the primary black hole. In addition we find several pseudo-periodic components in the 1 to 7 day range, most prominently at 3.5 days, which are likely Lorentz contracted jet re-emission of the 50 day component. The typical 50 day cycle exhibits a slow rise of brightness and a rapid dimming before the start of the new cycle. We explain this as being due to a spiral wave in the accretion disc which feeds the central black hole in this manner.
Variability and stability in optical blazar jets: the case of OJ287  [PDF]
C. Villforth,K. Nilsson,J. Heidt,T. Pursimo
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: OJ287 is a BL Lac object at redshift z=0.306 that has shown double-peaked bursts at regular intervals of ~12 yr during the last ~ 40 yr. Due to this behavior, it has been suggested that OJ287 might host a close supermassive binary black hole. We present optical photopolarimetric monitoring data from 2005-2009, during which the latest double-peaked outburst occurred. We find a stable component in the optical jet: the optical polarization core. The optical polarization indicates that the magnetic field is oriented parallel to the jet. Using historical optical polarization data, we trace the evolution of the optical polarization core and find that it has showed a swing in the Stokes plane indicating a reorientation of the jet magnetic field. We also find that changes in the optical jet magnetic field seem tightly related to the double-peaked bursts. We use our findings as a new constraint on possible binary black hole models. Combining all available observations, we find that none of the proposed binary black bole models is able to fully explain the observations. We suggest a new approach to understanding OJ287 that is based on the assumption that changes in the jet magnetic field drive the regular outbursts.
The infrared and optical variability of OJ 287  [PDF]
J. H. Fan,G. Adam,G. Z. Xie,S. L. Cao,R. G. Lin,Y. P. Qin,Y. Copin,J. M. Bai,X. Zhang,K. H. Li
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1051/aas:1998314
Abstract: In this paper, the long-term historical optical (UBVRI) and near-infrared (JHK) data are presented with some new observations in the optical (February 1994-January 1995) and near-infrared (November 1995) bands included for BL Lac object OJ287. The new optical data in V-band are in agreement with the results reported by other authors (Sillanpaa et al. 1996a; Arimoto et al. 1997), a close correlation between the color index of B-V and the magnitude V has been obtained from our new observations; The new infrared observations presented here indicate that the source was at a high level in the infrared band during the observation period; From the available literature, we have got that the largest variations for UBVRIJHK bands are respectively: 4.72mag, 5.93mag, 5.18mag, 4.45mag, 4.07mag, 3.87mag, 3.78mag, and 3.54mag. A strong correlation is found between the optical and near-infrared bands when the DCF method is used, which suggests that these two bands have the same emission mechanism.
Observations of OJ 287 from the Geodetic VLBI Archive of the Washington Correlator  [PDF]
C. E. Tateyama,K. A. Kingham,P. Kaufmann,B. G. Piner,L. C. L. Botti,A. M. P. de Lucena
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/307475
Abstract: We present 27 geodetic VLBI maps of OJ 287 obtained from the archive of the Washington correlator. The observations presented here were made between 1990 October and 1996 December. During this period a sequence of six superluminal components has been identified. We measured the proper motion of these components to be approximately 0.5 mas/yr, which is about twice as high as that seen in previous VLBI observations. These results imply a higher component ejection rate than previously observed, in good agreement with the observed occurrences of radio outbursts. We have examined a possible connection between VLBI components and optical flares in the framework of a binary black hole system.
HST Imaging of the BL Lacertae Object OJ 287  [PDF]
Brian Yanny,Buell T. Jannuzi,Chris Impey
Physics , 1997, DOI: 10.1086/310793
Abstract: Hubble Space Telescope WFPC-2 I-band (F814W) images of the BL Lacertae object OJ 287 and the surrounding field are presented. We find evidence of associated extended nebulosity near OJ 287, as well as a small nebulosity to the West, which may be spatially coincident with the position of previously observed radio emission. The brightness of a host galaxy is difficult to determine due to the brightness of the active nucleus, but it lies in the range -21.5 > M_R > -23.1 (H_0 = 100 km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}, q_0 = 0). No evidence is seen for the previously reported optical ``jet'' at position angle 220 degrees to a surface brightness limit of I = 24.3 mag arcsec^{-2}. There are several resolved and unresolved objects within 17'' of OJ~287 in the field to limits of I=25 (point source 5\sigma detections). The magnitudes and relative positions of these objects are reported. An offset in the centroid position between the OJ 287 point source and the underlying nebulosity reported by Wurtz, Stocke and Yee is confirmed and measured to be about 0.4 (1.2h^{-1} kpc at the redshift of OJ~287). This offset is tentatively interpreted as evidence for recent merger activity rather than a sign of gravitational microlensing.
A Precessing Disc in OJ287?  [PDF]
J. I. Katz
Physics , 1996,
Abstract: Sillanp\"a\"a, {\it et al.} (1996) have demonstrated that the AGN OJ287 has intensity peaks which recur with a period of about 12 years. I suggest that this is the result of the sweeping of a precessing relativistic beam across our line of sight. In analogy to Her~X-1 and SS433, precession is attributed to the torque exerted by a companion mass on an accretion disc. Secondary maxima observed 1.2 years after two of these peaks may be evidence of nodding motion.
On the masses of OJ287 black holes  [PDF]
M. J. Valtonen,S. Ciprini,H. J. Lehto
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21861.x
Abstract: Two multifrequency campaigns were carried out on OJ287 in 2005: in April when it was in its pre-outburst state, and in November, during the main 12 yr cycle outburst. The wavelength coverage was from radio to X-rays. In the optical-to-UV range the differential spectrum between the observations has a bremsstrahlung spectral shape, consistent with gas at $3 \times 10^{5}K$ temperature. Our result supports the hydrogen column density of the OJ287 host galaxy of $\sim9.3\times 10^{20} cm^{-2}$, the average value found by Gosh & Soundararajaperumal. The $3 \times 10^{5}K$ bremsstrahlung radiation was predicted in the binary black hole model of OJ287, and it arises from a hot bubble of gas which is torn off the accretion disc by the impact of the secondary. As this radiation is not Doppler boosted, the brightness of the outburst provides an estimate for the mass of the secondary black hole, $\sim1.4\times10^{8}$ solar mass. In order to estimate the mass of the primary black hole, we ask what is the minimum mass ratio in a binary system which allows the stability of the accretion disc. By using particle simulations, we find that the ratio is $\sim1.3\times10^{2}$. This makes the minimum mass of the primary $\sim1.8\times10^{10}$ solar mass, in agreement with the mass determined from the orbit solution, $1.84 \times 10^{10}$ solar mass. With this mass value and the measured K-magnitude of the bulge of the host galaxy of OJ287, the system lies almost exactly on the previously established correlation in the black hole mass vs. K-magnitude diagramme. It supports the extension of this correlation to brighter magnitudes and to more massive black holes than has been done previously.
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