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Record O/IR Brightness of 3C 454.3

ATel #6266; E. MacPherson, I. Hasan, M. Urry, M. Buxton, C. Bailyn, P. Coppi (Yale University), J. Isler (Syracuse University))
on 24 Jun 2014; 18:14 UT
Credential Certification: Michelle Buxton (michelle.buxton@yale.edu)

Subjects: Infra-Red, Optical, Blazar

Referred to by ATel #: 7981

As part of our O/IR blazar program, we monitor gamma-ray-bright blazars with the SMARTS 1.3m+ANDICAM instrument in Cerro Tololo, Chile. The AGILE satellite detected enhanced gamma-ray activity from the FSRQ 3C 454.3 in May 2014 (ATel #6182). The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected strongly increasing gamma-ray flux from 3C 454.3 in the week leading up to 15 Jun 2014 (ATel #6236). Other reports confirm the heightened gamma-ray emission (ATel #6217, #6234), enhanced NIR emission (ATel #6213, #6237), and optical variability (ATel #6232, #6246).

We are currently observing 3C 454.3 on a nightly cadence. On 22 June 2014 (JD 2456831.8), 3C 454.3 was detected in its brightest O/IR state since June 2008, when we began monitoring this target. The source appears to have decreased in flux on 23 June 2014.

We report the following O/IR magnitudes for 22 June 2014:
B_mag = 13.96
V_mag = 13.44
R_mag = 12.97
J_mag = 11.39
K_mag = 9.55
with estimated errors +/- 0.03 mag in the optical, +/- 0.05 mag in the near-infrared.

O/IR lightcurves, data tables, and historical information can be found on the SMARTS website.