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Optical and IR flare of 3C 454.3

ATel #2181; M. Buxton, C. Bailyn, E. Bonning, P. Coppi, J. Isler, G. Muir, M. Urry (Yale Univ.), L. Maraschi (INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera) and G. Fossati (Rice Univ.)
on 31 Aug 2009; 17:54 UT
Credential Certification: Michelle Buxton (buxton@astro.yale.edu)

Subjects: Infra-Red, Optical, AGN, Black Hole

Referred to by ATel #: 2200, 2201, 2330, 2345, 3047

We are conducting a long-term monitoring campaign of the optical and near-IR magnitudes of gamma-ray bright blazars using the SMARTS 1.3m telescope and ANDICAM instrument. Further to our previous ATel #2155 (see also ATel #2150) on 3C 454.3, we report that the most recent optical and near infrared observations show the current flare has peaked and is now decreasing in brightness. The greatest change in magnitude during this flare occurred between UT 2009 August 04 and UT 2009 August 26, and was as follows: dB = 1.13, dV = 1.23, dR = 1.40, dJ = 1.69, dK = 1.83. We will continue to monitor this and other gamma-ray bright blazars on a near-daily basis. Our data up until the end of July 2009 are publicly available at http://www.astro.yale.edu/smarts/fermi Those interested in detailed light curves since August 1 are invited to contact the team.