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KAIT Optical Observations of the Flaring Blazar 3C 279

ATel #6053; S. B. Cenko (NASA/GSFC), W. Zheng, A. V. Filippenko, D. Cohen (UC Berkeley), and R. Romani (Stanford)
on 8 Apr 2014; 03:27 UT
Credential Certification: S. Bradley Cenko (cenko@astro.berkeley.edu)

Subjects: Optical, AGN, Blazar

Referred to by ATel #: 6075

Following the detection of enhanced gamma-ray emission from the blazar 3C 279 by the Large Area Telescope onboard Fermi (ATEL #6036), we report on ongoing monitoring observations of this source in the optical with the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT) at Lick Observatory. Since at least 10 December 2013 UT (when we measure R = 15.7 mag), the optical emission from 3C 279 has steadily risen by about 1.4 mag over the course of the last four months. The observed peak in the optical of R = 14.3 mag occurred on 11 March 2014. The source may have subsequently declined somewhat following the reported time of peak gamma-ray emission (30 March 2014).

The full light curve of 3C 279 (J1256-0547) can be found at the following link:

Light curves for the other 162 Fermi-LAT blazars regularly monitored by KAIT can be found at the following website: