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Strong optical and IR brightening in the blazar 3C 454.3

ATel #2332; E. Bonning, C. Bailyn, M. Buxton, R. Chatterjee, P. Coppi, J. Isler, M. Urry (Yale Univ.), L. Maraschi (INAF Brera) and G. Fossati (Rice Univ.)
on 5 Dec 2009; 01:15 UT
Credential Certification: Michelle Buxton (buxton@astro.yale.edu)

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

Referred to by ATel #: 2333, 2345, 2352, 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. We report a strong optical and IR flare in the blazar 3C 454.3 concurrent with the present extraordinarily high gamma-ray activity (ATel #2328, ATel #2326, ATel #2322), peaking on UT 2009 December 03 with B=14.98, V=14.39, R=13.83, J=11.94, K=10.08. Between UT 2009 November 21 and UT 2009 December 03 (c.f. ATel #2325), the change in magnitude was: dB=1.26, dV=1.15, dR=1.25, dJ=1.38, dK=1.17.