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Monitoring of GAmma-ray Bright AGN : The Multi-frequency Polarization of the Flaring Blazar 3C 279  [PDF]
Sincheol Kang,Sang-Sung Lee,Do-Young Byun
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.5303/JKAS.2015.48.5.257
Abstract: We present results of long-term multi-wavelength polarization observations of the powerful blazar 3C~279 after its $\gamma$-ray flare on 2013~December 20. We followed up this flare with single-dish polarization observations using two 21-m telescopes of the Korean VLBI Network. Observations carried out weekly from 2013~December~25 to 2015~January~11, at 22~GHz, 43~GHz, 86~GHz simultaneously, as part of the Monitoring Of GAmma-ray Bright AGN (MOGABA) program. We measured 3C~279 total flux densities of 22--34~Jy at 22~GHz, 15--28~Jy (43~GHz), and 10--21~Jy (86~GHz), showing mild variability of $\leq 50\,\%$ over the period of our observations. The spectral index between 22~GHz and 86~GHz ranged from $-0.13$ to $-0.36$. Linear polarization angles were 27$^{\circ}$--38$^{\circ}$, 30$^{\circ}$--42$^{\circ}$, and 33$^{\circ}$--50$^{\circ}$ at 22~GHz, 43~GHz, and 86~GHz, respectively. The degree of linear polarization was in the range of 6--12\,\%, and slightly decreased with time at all frequencies. We investigated Faraday rotation and depolarization of the polarized emission at 22--86~GHz, and found Faraday rotation measures (RM) of $-300$ to $-1200$~rad~m$^{-2}$ between 22~GHz and 43~GHz, and $-800$ to $-5100$~rad~m$^{-2}$ between 43~GHz and 86~GHz. The RM values follow a power law with a mean power law index $a$ of $2.2$, implying that the polarized emission at these frequencies travels through a Faraday screen in or near the jet. We conclude that the regions emitting polarized radio emission may be different from the region responsible for the 2013 December $\gamma$-ray flare and are maintained by the dominant magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of the radio jet at milliarcsecond scales.
Study of microwave/gamma-ray properties for Fermi-LAT bright AGNs  [PDF]
D. Gasparrini,E. Cavazzuti,P. Giommi,C. Pittori,S. Colafrancesco,Fermi-LAT collaboration
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1063/1.3475285
Abstract: Blazars are a small fraction of all extragalactic sources but, unlike other objects, they are strong emitters across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Recent data in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum have become available to allow for systematic studies of blazars over large cosmological volumes. This frequency band is indeed particularly suited for the selection of blazars since at these frequencies the contamination from radio extended components with steep spectra is no longer present and the emission from the accretion process is negligible. During the first 3 months of scientific operations Fermi-LAT detected 106 bright, high-galactic latitude (| b |> 10 deg) AGNs with high significance. In this study we investigate the possible relations between the microwave and the gamma-ray emissions for Fermi-LAT detected AGNs belonging to WMAP 5th year bright source catalog.
SMARTS optical and infrared monitoring of 12 gamma-ray bright blazars  [PDF]
E. W. Bonning,C. M. Urry,C. Bailyn,M. Buxton,R. Chatterjee,P. Coppi,G. Fossati,J. Isler,L. Maraschi
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/756/1/13
Abstract: We present multiwavelength data for twelve blazars observed from 2008-2010 as part of an ongoing optical-infrared photometric monitoring project. Sources were selected to be bright, southern (dec < 20 deg) blazars observed by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, with daily and weekly gamma-ray fluxes made available from the start of the Fermi mission. Light curves are presented for the twelve blazars in BVRJK at near-daily cadence. We find that optical and infrared fluxes are well correlated in all sources. Gamma-ray bright flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) in our sample have optical/infrared emission correlated with gamma-rays consistent with inverse Compton-scattering models for GeV emission. In FSRQs, the variability amplitude decreases towards optical/IR wavelengths, consistent with the presence of a thermal emission component from the accretion disk varying on significantly longer timescales than the jet synchrotron emission. In BL Lac objects, variability is mainly constant across wavelengths, consistent with a weak or radiatively inefficient disk. FSRQs have redder optical-infrared colors when they are brighter, while BL Lac objects show no such trend. Several objects show complicated color-magnitude behavior: AO 0235+164 appears in two different states depending on whether it is gamma-ray bright or not. OJ 287 and 3C 279 show some hysteresis tracks in their color-magnitude diagrams. Individual flares may be achromatic or otherwise depart from the trend, suggesting different jet components becoming important at different times. We present a time-dependent spectral energy distribution of the bright FSRQ 3C 454.3 during its December 2009 flare, which is well fit by an external Compton model in the bright state, although day to day changes pose challenges to a simple one-zone model. All data from the SMARTS monitoring program are publicly available on our website.
Interferometric Monitoring of Gamma-ray Bright Active Galactic Nuclei II: Frequency Phase Transfer  [PDF]
Juan-Carlos Algaba,Guang-Yao Zhao,Sang-Sung Lee,Do-Young Byun,Sin-Cheol Kang,Dae-Won Kim,Jae-Young Kim,Jeong-Sook Kim,Soon-Wook Kim,Motoki Kino,Atsushi Miyazaki,Jong-Ho Park,Sascha Trippe,Kiyoaki Wajima
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.5303/JKAS.2015.48.5.237
Abstract: The Interferometric Monitoring of Gamma-ray Bright Active galactic nuclei (iMOGABA) program provides not only simultaneous multifrequency observations of bright gamma-ray detected active galactic nuclei (AGN), but also covers the highest Very Large Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) frequencies ever being systematically monitored, up to 129 GHz. However, observation and imaging of weak sources at the highest observed frequencies is very challenging. In the second paper in this series, we evaluate the viability of the frequency phase transfer technique to iMOGABA in order to obtain larger coherence time at the higher frequencies of this program (86 and 129 GHz) and image additional sources that were not detected using standard techniques. We find that this method is applicable to the iMOGABA program even under non-optimal weather conditions.
Comprehensive Monitoring of Gamma-ray Bright Blazars. I. Statistical Study of Optical, X-ray, and Gamma-ray Spectral Slopes  [PDF]
Karen E. Williamson,Svetlana G. Jorstad,Alan P. Marscher,Valeri M. Larionov,Paul S. Smith,Iván Agudo,Arkady A. Arkharov,Dmitry A. Blinov,Carolina Casadio,Natalia V. Efimova,José L. Gómez,Vladimir A. Hagen-Thorn,Manasvita Joshi,Tatiana S. Konstantinova,Evgenia N. Kopatskaya,Elena G. Larionova,Liudmilla V. Larionova,Michael P. Malmrose,Ian M. McHardy,Sol N. Molina,Daria A. Morozova,Gary D. Schmidt,Brian W. Taylor,Ivan S. Troitsky
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/135
Abstract: We present $\gamma$-ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light curves of 33 $\gamma$-ray bright blazars over four years that we have been monitoring since 2008 August with multiple optical, ground-based telescopes and the Swift satellite, and augmented by data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other publicly available data from Swift. The sample consists of 21 flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and 12 BL Lac objects (BL Lacs). We identify quiescent and active states of the sources based on their $\gamma$-ray behavior. We derive $\gamma$-ray, X-ray, and optical spectral indices, $\alpha_\gamma$, $\alpha_X$, and $\alpha_o$, respectively ($F_\nu\propto\nu^\alpha$), and construct spectral energy distributions (SEDs) during quiescent and active states. We analyze the relationships between different spectral indices, blazar classes, and activity states. We find (i) significantly steeper $\gamma$-ray spectra of FSRQs than for BL Lacs during quiescent states, but a flattening of the spectra for FSRQs during active states while the BL Lacs show no significant change; (ii) a small difference of $\alpha_X$ within each class between states, with BL Lac X-ray spectra significantly steeper than in FSRQs; (iii) a highly peaked distribution of X-ray spectral slopes of FSRQs at $\sim-$0.60, but a very broad distribution of $\alpha_X$ of BL Lacs during active states; (iv) flattening of the optical spectra of FSRQs during quiescent states, but no statistically significant change of $\alpha_o$ of BL Lacs between states; and (v) a positive correlation between optical and $\gamma$-ray spectral slopes of BL Lacs, with similar values of the slopes. We discuss the findings with respect to the relative prominence of different components of high-energy and optical emission as the flux state changes.
GENJI Programme: Gamma-ray Emitting Notable AGN Monitoring by Japanese VLBI  [PDF]
Hiroshi Nagai,Motoki Kino,Kotaro Niinuma,Kazunori Akiyama,Kazuhiro Hada,Shoko Koyama,Monica Orienti,Koichiro Hiura,Satoko Sawada-Satoh,Mareki Honma,Gabriele Giovannini,Marcello Giroletti,Katsunori Shibata,Kazuo Sorai
Physics , 2012,
Abstract: We introduce the GENJI program (Gamma-ray Emitting Notable AGN Monitoring by Japanese VLBI), which is a monitoring program of gamma-ray bright AGNs with the VERA array (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry). The GENJI programme aims a dense monitoring at 22 GHz towards the $\gamma$-ray emitting active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to investigate the radio time variation of the core and possible ejection of new radio component, motion of jets, and their relation with the emission at other wavelengths especially in $\gamma$-rays. Currently we are monitoring 8 $\gamma$-ray-emitting notable AGNs (DA 55, 3C 84, M 87, PKS 1510-089, DA 406, NRAO 530, BL Lac, 3C 454.3) about once every two weeks. This programme is promising to trace the trend of radio time variation on shorter timescale than conventional VLBI monitoring programme and to provide complimentary data with them (e.g., MOJAVE, Boston University Blazar Project). In particular, we successfully coordinated quick follow-up observations after the GeV $\gamma$-ray flare in NRAO 530 and 3C 454.3 reported by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Here we present the initial results of morphology and light curves for the first 7-month operation.
Near infrared and gamma-ray monitoring of TANAMI gamma-ray bright sources  [PDF]
R. Nesci,G. Tosti,T. Pursimo,R. Ojha,M. Kadler
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201321094
Abstract: Spectral energy distribution and its variability are basic tools for understanding the physical processes operating in active galactic nuclei (AGN). In this paper we report the results of a one-year near infra red (NIR) and optical monitoring of a sample of 22 AGN known to be gamma-ray emitters, aimed at discovering correlations between optical and gamma-ray emission. We observed our objects with the Rapid Eye Mount (REM) telescope in J, H, K, and R bands nearly twice every month during their visibility window and derived light curves and spectral indexes. We also analyzed the gamma-ray data from the Fermi gamma-ray Space Telescope, making weekly averages. Six sources were never detected during our monitoring, proving to be fainter than their historical Two micron all sky survey (2MASS) level. All of the sixteen detected sources showed marked flux density variability, while the spectral indexes remained unchanged within our sensitivity limits. Steeper sources showed, on average, a larger variability. From the NIR light curves we also computed a variability speed index for each detected source. Only one source (PKS 0208-512) underwent an NIR flare during our monitoring. Half of the sources showed a regular flux density trend on a one-year time scale, but do not show any other peculiar characteristic. The broadband spectral index alpha_ro appears to be a good proxy of the NIR spectral index only for BL Lac objects. No clear correlation between NIR and gamma-ray data is evident in our data, save for PKS 0537-441, PKS 0521-360, PKS 2155-304, and PKS 1424-418. The gamma-ray/NIR flux ratio showed a large spread, QSO being generally gamma-louder than BL Lac, with a marked correlation with the estimated peak frequency nu_peak of the synchrotron emission.
Extensive near infrared monitoring of millimeter-wave / gamma-ray bright blazars  [PDF]
Alberto Carraminana,Luis Carrasco,Alicia Porras,Elsa Recillas
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: We established a sample of millimeter-wave and gamma-ray bright active galactic nuclei matching the WMAP catalog with the EGRET catalog, highest energy photons and the Fermi bright source list. We have monitored over 80 of these objects in the near infrared, obtaining over 2000 JHKs data points directly comparable with Fermi data. We present examples of correlated near infrared and gamma-ray activity of known blazars and recently identified sources.
VLBI Monitoring of the bright gamma-ray blazar PKS 0537-441  [PDF]
Faith Hungwe,Roopesh Ojha,Matthias Kadler,Roy Booth,Jay Blanchard,Jim Lovell,Cornelia Mueller,Moritz Boeck,the TANAMI team
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: One of the defining characteristics of BL Lacertae objects is their strong variability across the electromagnetic spectrum. PKS 0537-441 is one such object and is one of the most luminous blazars from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. It was detected as a strong and highly variable source by EGRET and has been reported several times to be in an active state by Fermi . It is one of the brightest gamma-ray blazars detected in the southern sky so far. The TANAMI (Tracking Active Galactic Nuclei with Austral Milliarcsecond Interferometry) program is monitoring PKS 0537-441 at VLBI resolutions. We present 8.4 GHz and 22 GHz images of the milliarcsecond scale structure. We also present our ongoing analysis of the spectral and temporal changes in this object.
Coordinated Fermi/Optical Monitoring of Blazars and the Great 2009 September Gamma-ray Flare of 3C 454.3  [PDF]
P. S. Smith,E. Montiel,S. Rightley,J. Turner,G. D. Schmidt,B. T. Jannuzi
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: We describe the optical spectropolarimetric monitoring program at Steward Observatory centered around gamma-ray-bright blazars and the LAT Monitored Source List planned for Fermi Cycles 2-4. The large number of measurements made during Cycle 1 of the Fermi mission are available to the research community and the data products are summarized (see http://james.as.arizona.edu/~psmith/Fermi). The optical data include spectropolarimetry at a resolution of ~20 A, broad-band polarization and flux measurements, and flux-calibrated spectra spanning 4000-7600 A. These data provide a comprehensive view of the optical variability of an important sample of objects during the Fermi Era. In addition to broad-band flux and linear polarization monitoring, the spectra allow for the tracking of changes to the spectral index of the synchrotron continuum, importance of non-synchrotron emission features, and how and when the polarization varies with wavelength, an important clue as to the structure of the emission region or the identification of multiple nonthermal components. As an illustration, we present observations of 3C 454.3 obtained in 2009 September during an exceptionally bright gamma-ray flare. The blazar was optically bright during the flare, but except for a few short periods, it showed surprisingly low polarization (P < 5%). Opportunities exist within the Fermi research community to coordinate with our long-term optical monitoring program toward the goal of maximum scientific value to both the Fermi and associated radio VLBI monitoring of blazars.
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