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Archival light curve for the flaring GLAST blazar PKS 1502+106

ATEL # 1661; T. Morton, A.J. Drake, S.G. Djorgovski, E. Glikman, A. Mahabal (Caltech), P. Nugent (LBNL), C. Baltay, D. Rabinowitz (Yale), E.C. Beshore, S.M. Larson (UA/LPL), D. Gopal, C. Donalek, M. Graham, R. Williams (Caltech), A. Bauer, N. Ellman, R. Scalzo, J. Jerke (Yale), E. Christensen (Gemini Obs.)
on 15 Aug 2008; 3:57 UT
Password Certification: S. George Djorgovski (

Subjects: Optical, AGN

We compiled archival light curves for the blazar PKS 1502+106, which was detected as flaring in gamma rays by the GLAST LAT Team (Ciprini et al., ATel #1650). One data set is from the Palomar-Quest (PQ) survey, a combination of exposures taken in the drift scan and point-and-stare modes, supplemented by a few early observations from the JPL NEAT team. These data were obtained at Palomar 48-inch Schmidt Samuel Oschin Telescope, span a time range of over 6 years, from 15 May 2002 UT, through 14 June 2008 UT, and consist of 44 exposures taken on 23 separate dates. All data are in red bands, brought to an empirically determined common zero-point using nearby stars, and roughly zero-pointed using USNO-B catalog. The other data set is from the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), obtained at the Mt. Bigellow 24-inch Schmidt telescope, with an unfiltered CCD, and consist of 120 exposures taken on 30 separate dates, from 06 April 2005 UT, through 07 June 2008 UT. The magnitude zero-points have been adjusted to match the same set of reference stars as with the PQ data. No attempt is made at this point to account for the color terms. The blazar has undergone at least one major optical flare in this time interval, brightening by ~ 1.4 mag over a period of 2 weeks in May 2006 (peak mag ~ 16), and then fading by ~ 2.7 mag by May 2007. Another optical flare, reaching a peak magnitude of at least ~ 16.8, occurred in late January of 2007. The typical magnitudes of the object are ~ 18. The light curves and other information are available at

PQ blazars page

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R. E. Rutledge , Editor
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