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CTA 102 brightens up to the most luminous optical blazar state ever detected.

ATel #9868; P. Calcidese (Osservatorio Astronomico della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta, Italy), C. M. Raiteri, M. Villata, M. I. Carnerero (INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Italy), J. A. Acosta-Pulido (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Spain and Departamento de Astrofisica, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain), for the GASP-WEBT Collaboration
on 16 Dec 2016; 16:17 UT
Credential Certification: Claudia M. Raiteri (raiteri@oato.inaf.it)

Subjects: Infra-Red, Optical, AGN, Blazar

Referred to by ATel #: 9869, 9884, 9901, 9911, 9924

We report on optical and near-infrared observations of the blazar CTA 102 performed in the framework of the GLAST-AGILE Support Program (GASP) of the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT). The extraordinary outburst stated by ATels #9732, #9743, #9756, #9776, #9788, #9801, #9808, #9821, #9840, #9841, #9863 is still under way.

Observations with the 81 cm telescope of the Osservatorio Astronomico della Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta (Italy) detected CTA 102 peaking at R=11.32+-0.02 on JD~2457738.33 (2016 December 15.83 UT). This corresponds to a luminosity of
log(nu L_nu)=48.39 (erg/s), which is likely the most luminous optical blazar state so far observed.

Observations carried out with the 1.5 m Carlos Sanchez Telescope at the Teide Observatory (Spain) detected J=9.60+-0.05, H=8.90+-0.05, K=8.15+-0.05 on JD~2457738.39 (2016 Dec 15.89 UT).

CTA 102 is one of the 28 blazars for which the GASP-WEBT performs a long-term, multiwavelength monitoring, so observations of this objects are ongoing.