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Elevated Optical Luminosity for Gamma-ray Blazar BL Lacertae

ATel #4155; A. Furniss (UCSC), M. Fumagalli (UCO Lick), M. Hogan (UCSC), K. Kaplan (UTexas), P. X. Prochaska (UCO Lick) and D. A. Williams (UCSC)
on 6 Jun 2012; 18:29 UT
Credential Certification: Amy Furniss (afurniss@ucsc.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Gamma Ray, >GeV, Request for Observations, AGN, Blazar, Quasar

Referred to by ATel #: 4271, 4565, 4973

We report on the increased optical luminosity of BL Lacertae (RA=22h02m43.29s, dec=42d16m39.98s), a low-frequency-peaked gamma-ray emitting blazar at a redshift of 0.068 (3EG J2202+4225, 2FGL J2202.8+4216). We have collected regular R-band exposures for BL Lacertae as part of a larger optical monitoring program of gamma-ray-bright blazars using the Super-LOTIS (Livermore Optical Transient Imaging System) robotic telescope at the Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak, near Tucson Arizona. The R-band magnitude increased from 13.3 +/- 0.1 magnitude on 1 June 2012 (UT) to 12.4+/- 0.1 magnitude on 5 June 2012. This blazar has exhibited rapid variability across the electromagnetic spectrum in the past, and the current state is comparable to the optical state in 2011 reported by V. Larionov et al. (ATel #3371), contemporaneous with outbursts in high-energy gamma rays (ATel #3368) and subsequently very-high-energy gamma rays (ATel #3459). Activity was also reported in April 2012 by ATels #4031 (optical) and #4028 (gamma ray). Additional multiwavelength observations are encouraged. We are grateful to Grant Williams and Daniel Kiminki for their dedication to the ongoing operation and support for the Super-LOTIS telescope.