Journal Article

Intraday optical variability of the BL Lacertae object S5 0716+714

B. K. Zhang, B. Z. Dai, L. P. Wang, M. Zhao, L. Zhang and Z. Cao

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 4, pages 3111-3115
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Intraday optical variability of the BL Lacertae object S5 0716+714

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The intraday optical variability of the BL Lacertae object S5 0716+714 is studied using historical light curves. The well‐sampled intranight data set is selected. In total, 19 333 data points have been collected over 208 nights. The source exhibits strong variability in the optical band. At a confidence level of 99.9 per cent, for 162 of the 208 nights the source shows intranight variability. The source varies with an increasing rate of 0.043 mag h−1 and a decreasing rate of 0.036 mag h−1 during the observations, with no evident difference between rising and falling parts. The fast variability is found on JD 245 1909, with a decreasing rate of 0.015 mag min−1 over 6 min. The temporal characteristic is studied by using the structure function method. The result shows that the source varies with an 11.5‐min time‐scale. For this source, the emission size is estimated to be 1.39 × 1014 cm, the mass of the central black hole is estimated to be 107.87 M and the magnetic field strength is estimated to be 10.6 G.

Keywords: methods: statistical; BL Lacertae objects: general; BL Lacertae objects: individual: S5 0716+714

Journal Article.  3032 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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