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Optical/Near-Infrared Flare in 3C 454.3

ATel #5418; M. Buxton, I. Hasan, E. MacPherson, J. Isler, M. Urry, C. Bailyn, P. Coppi (Yale University)
on 25 Sep 2013; 21:02 UT
Credential Certification: Michelle Buxton (michelle.buxton@yale.edu)

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

Referred to by ATel #: 5423, 5436

Recently we have monitored the blazar 3C 454.3 daily using the ANDICAM instrument on the SMARTS 1.3m telescope in Chile. As already noted by other observers (ATel #5411, ATel #5412) 3C 454.3 is undergoing an increase in optical and near-infrared fluxes, and is exhibiting intra-night variability. Here we report on our most recent optical and near-infrared observations. On 24 Sep 2013 (JD 2456560) we obtained three observations in BVRJK bands, each separated by approximately one hour. The average magnitude in each band was observed as follows: B = 14.46, V = 13.88, R = 13.39, J = 11.80, K = 10.08: hence, 3C 454.3 continues to brighten. Over the three observations we see some variation in magnitude as follows: delta_B = 0.05 mag, delta_V = 0.03 mag, delta_R = 0.03 mag, delta_J = 0.03 mag, and delta_K = 0.08 mag. However, these differences are comparable to our typical photometric errors (B_err = 0.04 mag, V_err = 0.03 mag, R_err = 0.03 mag, J_err = 0.05 mag, K_err = 0.05 mag). As such we do not see any statistically significant variation in optical/near-infrared flux over the two-hour period of our observations. Our data and light curves of 3C 454.3, as well as other blazars we are monitoring, can be found at: http://www.astro.yale.edu/smarts/glast/home.php#.