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Paper: Variability in the Blazar 3C 454.3
Volume: 427, Accretion and Ejection in AGN: a Global View
Page: 265
Authors: Bonning, E. W.; Bailyn, C.; Urry, C. M.; Buxton, M.; Fossati, G.; Maraschi, L.; Coppi, P.; Isler, J.
Abstract: The blazar 3C 454.3 was revealed by Fermi Space Telescope to be in an exceptionally high flux state in July 2008. We performed a multi-wavelength monitoring campaign from August to December 2008 and 2009 on this blazar using IR and optical observations from the SMARTS telescopes together with publicly available data from Swift and daily gamma-ray fluxes from Fermi. We find an excellent correlation between the infrared (IR), optical, ultraviolet (UV) and gamma-ray light curves, with a time lag of less than one day. The amplitude of the infrared variability is larger than at optical or UV wavelengths, and the optical and IR emission shows redder colors at higher flux levels, consistent with an underlying thermal accretion disk. The variability characteristics of 3C 454.3 suggest an external Compton model in which electrons with Lorentz factor γ ∼103–4 produce synchrotron emission peaking in the IR while inverse Compton scattering disk or line photons to GeV energies.
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