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An unprecedented optical outburst of the blazar CTA102

ATel #4397; V. Larionov, D. Blinov, (St. Petersburg Univ.), S. Jorstad (Boston Univ. and St. Petersburg Univ.)
on 19 Sep 2012; 17:49 UT
Credential Certification: V. Larionov (vlar@astro.spbu.ru)

Subjects: Optical, Gamma Ray, AGN, Black Hole, Blazar

Referred to by ATel #: 4409, 4437, 4442, 4449

Our photometric monitoring (partly made in the frame of GASP/WEBT project) at the 70-cm AZT-8 (CrAO, Ukraine) telescope and at the 1.8 m Perkins telescope of Lowell observatory (Flagstaff, AZ) shows that blazar CTA 102 (a.k.a. 4C+11.69, PKS 2230+11) has entered a phase of a high optical activity. After several years of moderate activity the blazar increased its brightness up to ~16.2 in 2012 (see http://lacerta.astro.spbu.ru/lc/cta102R.png ). Our recent observations show that on September 15 the source was R=16.02, while on September 18 its brightness reached R=14.67. Analysis of publicly available data of the LAT onboard of the Fermi gamma-observatory shows a sharp increase in gamma-ray flux along with the optical brightening. Daily averaged gamma-ray flux reached 2.0E-6 ph cm^-2s^-1 (E>100MeV) on September 18, http://lacerta.astro.spbu.ru/ATel/4397.png. Since the optical flux seems to be unprecedented for this object the multifrequency observations are encouraged.