Physics & Astronomy - Astronomy Seminar - Jedidah Isler, Vanderbilt University

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Physics & Astronomy - Astronomy Seminar - Jedidah Isler, Vanderbilt University

Title: "A Consolidated Framework of the Color Variability in Blazars: Long-Term Optical/Near-Infrared Observations of 3C 279"

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Wilder 202
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  I evaluate the optical/near-infrared (OIR) color variability of 3C 279 in both gamma-ray flaring and non-flaring states over 7-year timescales using the Small and Medium Aperture Research Telescope System in Cerro Tololo, Chile and gamma-ray fluxes obtained from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. This observing strategy differs from previous blazar color variability studies in two key ways: (1) the reported color variability is assessed across optical through near-infrared wavelengths, and (2) the color variability is assessed over timescales significantly longer than an individual flare or ground-based observing season. We highlight 3C 279 because of its complex color variability, which is difficult to reconcile with the simple "redder-when-brighter" behavior often associated with Flat Spectrum Radio Quasar color variability. I suggest that the observed OIR color changes depend on a combination of the jet and disk emission. We parameterize this behavior in terms of a single variable, representing a smooth transition from a disk-dominated system, to a mixed contribution, to a jet-dominated system, which provides an explanation of the long-term OIR color variability in the same blazar over time. This suggests a general scheme that could apply to OIR color variability in other blazars.

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

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