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ASAS-SN Discovery of an Unprecedented >2 Magnitude Optical Flare from QSO B2 1420+32

ATel #11110; K. Z. Stanek, C. S. Kochanek, T. A. Thompson (OSU), B. J. Shappee (IfA, Hawaii), T. W.-S. Holoien (Carnegie Observatories), J. L. Prieto (Diego Portales; MAS), Subo Dong (KIAA-PKU), X. Dai (University of Oklahoma)
on 29 Dec 2017; 19:32 UT
Credential Certification: Krzysztof Stanek (stanek.32@osu.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Quasar

During the ongoing All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN, Shappee et al. 2014), using data from the quadruple 14-cm "Brutus" telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii, and the quadruple 14-cm "Leavitt" telescope in Fort Davis, Texas, we have discovered an unprecedented, factor of ~10 optical brightening of QSO B2 1420+32 (SDSS J142230.37+322310.4, z=0.68).

QSO B2 1420+3, while optically variable in CRTS data, was never seen in ASAS-SN data to be brighter than V~17, with 790 data points starting in February 2013. Similarly, its g-band magnitude in SDSS data is g=19.1, its PS1 brightness is g=18.5, and its Gaia brightness is g=18.2. On UT 2017-12-28.48 B2 1420+32 reached g-band magnitude of g=15.55 (V=15.65 on 2017-12-28.61), decaying to g=16.2 on 2017-12-29.48. Such a dramatic brightening is unprecedented for this object, classified via SDSS spectrum as "QSO broadline" (z=0.68). Follow-up observations are encouraged.

We thank Las Cumbres Observatory and its staff for their continued support of ASAS-SN. ASAS-SN is funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant GBMF5490 to the Ohio State University, NSF grant AST-1515927, the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP) at OSU, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA).