skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Multiwavelength Variability Study of the Classical BL Lac Object PKS 0735+178 on Timescales Ranging from Decades to Minutes

Abstract

We present the results of our power spectral analysis for the BL Lac object PKS 0735+178, utilizing the Fermi -LAT survey at high-energy γ -rays, several ground-based optical telescopes, and single-dish radio telescopes operating at GHz frequencies. The novelty of our approach is that, by combining long-term and densely sampled intra-night light curves in the optical regime, we were able to construct for the first time the optical power spectrum of the blazar for a time domain extending from 23 years down to minutes. Our analysis reveals that: (1) the optical variability is consistent with a pure red noise, for which the power spectral density can be well approximated by a single power law throughout the entire time domain probed; (2) the slope of power spectral density at high-energy γ -rays (∼1) is significantly flatter than that found at radio and optical frequencies (∼2) within the corresponding time variability range; (3) for the derived power spectra, we did not detect any low-frequency flattening, nor do we see any evidence for cutoffs at the highest frequencies down to the noise floor levels due to measurement uncertainties. We interpret our findings in terms of a model where the blazar variability is generatedmore » by the underlying single stochastic process (at radio and optical frequencies), or a linear superposition of such processes (in the γ -ray regime). Along with the detailed PSD analysis, we also present the results of our extended (1998–2015) intra-night optical monitoring program and newly acquired optical photo-polarimetric data for the source.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. Astronomical Observatory of Jagiellonian University, ul. Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków (Poland)
  2. Astronomical Institute of St. Petersburg State University, Petrodvorets 198504 (Russian Federation)
  3. Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CEBS), University of Mumbai campus (Kalina), Mumbai 400098 (India)
  4. Department of Physics, The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628-0718 (United States)
  5. Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Manora Peak, Nainital 263002 (India)
  6. Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Apartado 3004, E–18080 Granada (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22661291
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 837; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; AIR POLLUTION ABATEMENT; APPROXIMATIONS; BL LACERTAE OBJECTS; GALAXIES; GAMMA RADIATION; GHZ RANGE; LAND POLLUTION ABATEMENT; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NOISE; RADIO TELESCOPES; SPECTRA; SPECTRAL DENSITY; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; WATER POLLUTION ABATEMENT

Citation Formats

Goyal, Arti, Stawarz, Łukasz, Ostrowski, Michał, Soida, Marian, Larionov, Valeri, Gopal-Krishna, Wiita, Paul J., Joshi, Santosh, and Agudo, Iván, E-mail: arti@oa.uj.edu.pl. Multiwavelength Variability Study of the Classical BL Lac Object PKS 0735+178 on Timescales Ranging from Decades to Minutes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6000.
Goyal, Arti, Stawarz, Łukasz, Ostrowski, Michał, Soida, Marian, Larionov, Valeri, Gopal-Krishna, Wiita, Paul J., Joshi, Santosh, & Agudo, Iván, E-mail: arti@oa.uj.edu.pl. Multiwavelength Variability Study of the Classical BL Lac Object PKS 0735+178 on Timescales Ranging from Decades to Minutes. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6000.
Goyal, Arti, Stawarz, Łukasz, Ostrowski, Michał, Soida, Marian, Larionov, Valeri, Gopal-Krishna, Wiita, Paul J., Joshi, Santosh, and Agudo, Iván, E-mail: arti@oa.uj.edu.pl. Fri . "Multiwavelength Variability Study of the Classical BL Lac Object PKS 0735+178 on Timescales Ranging from Decades to Minutes". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6000.
@article{osti_22661291,
title = {Multiwavelength Variability Study of the Classical BL Lac Object PKS 0735+178 on Timescales Ranging from Decades to Minutes},
author = {Goyal, Arti and Stawarz, Łukasz and Ostrowski, Michał and Soida, Marian and Larionov, Valeri and Gopal-Krishna and Wiita, Paul J. and Joshi, Santosh and Agudo, Iván, E-mail: arti@oa.uj.edu.pl},
abstractNote = {We present the results of our power spectral analysis for the BL Lac object PKS 0735+178, utilizing the Fermi -LAT survey at high-energy γ -rays, several ground-based optical telescopes, and single-dish radio telescopes operating at GHz frequencies. The novelty of our approach is that, by combining long-term and densely sampled intra-night light curves in the optical regime, we were able to construct for the first time the optical power spectrum of the blazar for a time domain extending from 23 years down to minutes. Our analysis reveals that: (1) the optical variability is consistent with a pure red noise, for which the power spectral density can be well approximated by a single power law throughout the entire time domain probed; (2) the slope of power spectral density at high-energy γ -rays (∼1) is significantly flatter than that found at radio and optical frequencies (∼2) within the corresponding time variability range; (3) for the derived power spectra, we did not detect any low-frequency flattening, nor do we see any evidence for cutoffs at the highest frequencies down to the noise floor levels due to measurement uncertainties. We interpret our findings in terms of a model where the blazar variability is generated by the underlying single stochastic process (at radio and optical frequencies), or a linear superposition of such processes (in the γ -ray regime). Along with the detailed PSD analysis, we also present the results of our extended (1998–2015) intra-night optical monitoring program and newly acquired optical photo-polarimetric data for the source.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA6000},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 837,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • The redshifted 21-cm and Mg II absorption lines observed in the QSO 3C 286 and the BL Lacertae object 0735+178, respectively, are analyzed to determine the location of the absorbing gas. We first describe evidence which supports the presence of neutral hydrogen intrinsic to QSOs, and then examine excitation conditions influencing the formation of 21-cm absorption lines. Due to the high spin temperature T/subs/ resulting from the bright 21-cm continuum, the 21-cm absorption line observed in 3C 286 can arise close to the QSO only if L$alpha$ radiation determines the excitation of the hyperfine levels. The 21-cm line could alsomore » form in an intervening galaxy. The absence of redshifted Mg II absorption in the spectrum of 3C 286 places and upper limit of 3 x 10$sup -3$/T/ subs/ on the Mg$sup +$/H I. ratio in the column of absorbing H I. This is compatible with a solar abundance ratio of Mg/H; but if the observed upper limit to Mg II absorption were reduced by a factor 2, this would require Mg$sup +$/H I<10$sup -2$ (Mg/H)/sub sun/. An analysis of the Mg II absorption lines seen in 0735+178 leads to two possibilities: (a) a large column density of Mg$sup +$ ions and low velocity dispersion; or (b) a low column density and large velocity dispersion. Whereas (b) is kinematically inconsistent with an intervening galaxy, (a) is not. We propose that 21-cm absorption features be searched for in the 30-cm continuum of 0735+178. If no absorption is seen, and (a) applies, then the spin temperature must be much higher than that observed in absorbing clouds in our Galaxy, thus making an intervening galaxy implausible. (AIP)« less
  • Accurate, soft X-ray spectra of two BL Lac objects, OJ 287 and PKS 0735+178, are presented. The X-ray spectra are well described by a power-law model with a low-energy cutoff consistent with photoelectric absorption within the Galaxy. The best-fit values of the energy spectral index in the 0.2-4.0 keV band are 0.91 and 0.76 respectively. The X-ray flux from OJ 287 is variable by a ratio of three from low to high state; PKS 0735+178 shows no indication of X-ray variability. The X-ray emission in OJ 287 is interpreted to be due to the synchrotron process from a volume commonmore » with either a beamed radio component or a stationary optical component. In PKS 0735+178, where the X-ray emission is most likely due to the Compton process operating in one of the VLBI radio components. The synchrotron self-Compton process with modest kinematic Doppler factors predicts the measured X-ray flux from PKS 0735+178 and lower than the measured flux in OJ 287. 64 references.« less
  • We present the results from a multiwavelength study of the flaring activity in the high-energy peaked BL Lac object 1ES 1959+650 during 2015 January–2016 June. The source underwent two major outbursts, during 2015 March and 2015 October, across the whole electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). We used data from Fermi -LAT and Swift -XRT/UVOT, and optical data from Mt. Abu InfraRed Observatory and Steward Observatory to look for possible correlations between the emissions at different energies and the nature of the variability during the flaring state. During the 2015 October outburst, the nightly averaged V -band brightest magnitude, 14.45(0.03), and faintest magnitude,more » 14.45(0.03), were recorded. Apart from long-term flares, rapid and short-term variabilities were noticed at all energies. Our study suggests that the flaring activities at all frequencies, with diverse flare durations and time lags, are correlated. The magnetic field strength is estimated to be 4 G using the synchrotron-cooling timescale (2.3 hr), and the upper limits on the sizes of both emission regions, γ -ray and optical, are estimated to be of the order of 10{sup 16} cm. The quasi-simultaneous flux enhancements in 15 GHz and VHE γ -ray emissions indicate a fresh injection of plasma into the jet, which interacts with a standing submillimeter core, resulting in co-spatial emissions across the EMS. The synchrotron peak shifts to higher frequency in the spectral energy distribution while the γ -ray spectra softens during the flaring. The shape of the inverse-Compton spectra indicates a change in the particle energy distribution pre- and post-flare.« less
  • Spectroscopic observations of the BL Lac object PKS 0215 + 015 during a faint phase are presented. Lyman-alpha and C IV 1548, 1550 A broad emission lines are seen at a redshift z = 1.715. This observation confirms the earlier redshift estimate, which was based upon the absorption-line spectrum observed when the object was approximately three mag brighter. 8 references.
  • Rapid variability in the radio flux density of the BL Lac object PKS B1144-379 has been observed at four frequencies, ranging from 1.5 to 15 GHz, with the Very Large Array and the University of Tasmania's Ceduna antenna. Intrinsic and line-of-sight effects were examined as possible causes of this variability, with interstellar scintillation best explaining the frequency dependence of the variability timescales and modulation indices. This scintillation is consistent with a compact source 20-40 {mu}as or 0.15-0.3 pc in size. The inferred brightness temperature for PKS B1144-379 (assuming that the observed variations are due to scintillation) is 6.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{supmore » 12} K at 4.9 GHz, with approximately 10% of the total flux in the scintillating component. We show that scintillation surveys aimed at identifying variability timescales of days to weeks are an effective way to identify the active galactic nuclei with the highest brightness temperatures.« less