Optical Monitoring of Blazars and Radio Galaxies

In concert with our RXTE observations in the X-ray band, a number of colleagues from around the world are monitoring the same objects. By combining data, we can obtain the multifrequency light curves shown on our X-ray page on this website. In the past, we have monitored the quasars PKS 1510-089, 3C 273, and 3C 279, as well as the quasar-like object BL Lacertae at the 1.8-meter Perkins telescope at Lowell observatory as part of a long-term multi-wavelength program to understand better the physics of relativistic jets in regions close to the "central engines." Collaborators observing in the optical band include Tom Balonek (Foggy Bottom Observatory, Colgate U.), Valeri Larionov and Vladimir Hagen-Thorn (St. Petersburg State U., Russia), Martin Gaskell (University of Nebraska), Gino Tosti (Perugia U. Observatory, Italy), and Massimo Villata and Claudia Raiteri (Torino U. Observatory, Italy), H. Richard Miller and John McFarland (Georgia State U.), Mark Turler (Geneva Obs.), and Omar Kurtanidze (Abastumani Obs.). Ian McHardy (U. Southampton, UK) of our RXTE team is the lead investigator for observations with the robotic Liverpool Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands.

We are also monitoring the Fanaroff-Riley class I (relatively low luminosity) radio galaxy 3C 120 four times per week and the Fanaroff-Riley class II (high luminosity) radio galaxy 3C 111 twice per week with RXTE - see our X-ray page. Any optical or IR flux densities for these objects would be most welcome! We understand that these are not easy objects - 3C 111 is faint (17th or 18th magnitude in V band) and one needs to separate the emission of the galaxy and that of the nucleus. Nevertheless, good optical light curves would allow us to correlate the optical and X-ray emission.

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