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Astronomy Colloquium

Thursday, September 25, 2014
12:00 AM
411 West Hall

Using Multiwavelength Variability Studies to Probe the Disk-Jet Connection of Fermi Blazars

Blazars are active galactic nuclei whose relativistic jet is aligned at small angles (< 5°) with respect to the Earth line of sight. These relativistic jets produce radio through gamma-ray emission, via synchrotron radiation at long wavelengths and likely inverse Compton scattering at gamma-ray energies. Yet, much of the physics of blazar jets is still uncertain; e.g., it is not clear whether the gamma-rays come from sub-parsec or parsec scales or if there is one gamma-emitting site or many. To address these questions I take a two-fold approach: first comparing the observed broad emission line flux with Fermi gamma-ray flux and optical linear polarized flux to estimate its relationship to jet activity. Three sources showed statistically significant emission line variability, in close temporal proximity to Fermi gamma-ray flares, which I will discuss further in this talk. Secondly, I compare the optical and near-infrared (OIR) flux and color to the Fermi gamma-ray flux on similar cadence and present a schematic representation of the long-term OIR color variability. Using this schematic, changes in the relative contribution of the disk and jet emission, migration of the gamma-emitting region to outside the broad line region, and injections of higher energy electrons in the jet itself are shown to contribute to the long-term OIR color variability that we observe.

Jedidah Isler (Syracuse)