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Optical activity of the flaring gamma-ray blazar PKS 0458-02

ATel #4402; Tapio Pursimo (Nordic Optical Telescope), Roopesh Ojha (NASA/GSFC) and Fatemeh Kiaeerad (Nordic Optical Telescope)
on 20 Sep 2012; 15:27 UT
Credential Certification: Roopesh Ojha (Roopesh.Ojha@gmail.com)

Subjects: Optical, Gamma Ray, >GeV, AGN, Blazar, Quasar

Referred to by ATel #: 4407, 6995

We report optical photometry of the high redshift (z=2.286 Strittmatter et al. 1974, ApJ, 190, 509) flat spectrum radio quasar PKS 0458-02 obtained with the 2.56m Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma. This superluminal FSRQ (apparent speed of 16.51c; Lister et al. 2009, AJ, 138,1874), is also known as 2FGL J0501.2-0155 (Nolan et al. 2012, ApJS, 199, 31) and was reported to be 30 times brighter than its average daily Fermi/LAT (E > 100 MeV) flux on 17 September (Atel#4396).

Nearly simultaneous observations were taken with B, R and i-filters on 2012 September 20 UT 05:32. The photometry was calibrated against eight nearby field stars using GSC2.3 F and N-magnitudes as reference. The results are:

As a comparison GSC2.3 (Lasker et al. 2008, AJ, 136, 735) reports B=19.3, F=19.06, and N=18.12, indicating a brightening of about 0.8, 1.7 and 1.5 magnitudes respectively.

We encourage further multi-wavelength coverage. We will continue to monitor this source and report future developments using this and other platforms.