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Fast optical brightening of the blazar 3C 454.3 (2251+158)

ATel #5412; D. O. Mirzaqulov, Sh. A. Ehgamberdiev (Maidanak Observatory of the Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute, Uzbekistan), M. Villata, C. M. Raiteri (INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Italy), for the GASP-WEBT Collaboration
on 24 Sep 2013; 08:53 UT
Credential Certification: Claudia M. Raiteri (raiteri@oato.inaf.it)

Subjects: Optical, AGN, Blazar, Quasar

Referred to by ATel #: 5418, 5423, 5436

With reference to ATel #5411, the GLAST-AGILE Support Program (GASP) of the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) reports on the recent observation of a strong optical brightening of the gamma-loud quasar 3C 454.3. This is one of the 28 blazars for which the GASP performs a long-term, multiwavelength monitoring.
After a long period of faint optical state, observations carried out at the Maidanak Observatory of the Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute, Uzbekistan, show a fast and prominent flare. The source brightness increased from R=15.3 on 2013 September 15.8 UT to R=14.3 on September 22.8. Last night a further brightening was observed, with fast and noticeable intranight variability, from R=13.90 on September 23.75 to R=13.51 on 23.97.
Although the brightness level is rather far from the optical historical maximum reached during the 2005 outburst (R=12, Villata et al. 2006, A&A, 453, 817), this rapid flux increase deserves special attention and multiwavelength follow-up.