BLAZARS of Our Times. The nature and remarkable variability of the blazars. AAVSO-HEA3, Las Cruces March 2005. Dr. Gordon G. Spear NASA E/PO Group Department of Physics and Astronomy Sonoma State University. BLAZARS of our Times What will we cover?. What’s in a name?
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The nature and remarkable variability of the blazars
AAVSO-HEA3, Las Cruces
Dr. Gordon G. Spear
NASA E/PO Group
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Sonoma State University
Slope of the energy distribution in the visible
The Grand Blazar Sequence
The Global Telescope Network (GTN) was originally created to observe blazars.
GTN Blazars and Polars
Outbursts - 1982,1994
Are the jets precessing or wobbling?
Romero et al. (2000)
BL Lac - AAVSO
Mrk 501 Carini (1982)
Mrk 501 - AAVSO
BL Lac - AAVSO
V - variable
C - comparison
K - check
GTN sequence for PKS 0537-441
Variability Confidence Criterion
>2.576 indicates variability at a confidence level of 99%
- time between maximum and minimum brightness
z is the redshift
Sample of 86 AGNs
Incidence of microvariability
* --> blazars
Does your head hurt yet from trying to understand the blazars?
Let’s try the other side of our brains.
Could we interpret a blazar lightcurve as a piece of music?
Could we “hear” the blazars?
time between observations
Dt > 20 days, whole note+rest
Dt < 5 days, sixteenth note
Especially if you are observing blazars
BL Lac - campaign1
0.1 mag in a night (or less)
Some nights you just lose!