Clear evidence for intranight optical variability in radio-quiet quasars

Gopal-Krishna, ; Stalin, C. S. ; Ram Sagar, ; Wiita, Paul J. (2003) Clear evidence for intranight optical variability in radio-quiet quasars The Astrophysical Journal, 586 (1). L25-L28. ISSN 0004-637X

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We present new clues to the problem of the radio loudness dichotomy arising from an extensive search for intranight optical variability in seven sets of optically luminous radio-quiet quasars and (radio-loud) BL Lacertae objects, which are matched in optical luminosity and redshift. Our monitoring of radio-quiet quasars has for the first time clearly detected such intranight variability, with peak-to-peak amplitudes ~1%, occurring with a duty cycle of ~1/6. The matched BL Lac objects have both higher variability amplitudes and duty cycles when observed in the same fashion. We show that the much less pronounced intranight variability of the radio-quiet quasars relative to BL Lac objects can be understood in terms of a modest misalignment of the jets in radio-quiet quasars from the line of sight. We thus infer that relativistic particle jets may well also emerge from radio-quiet quasars, but while traversing the short optical-emitting distances, they could be snuffed out, possibly through inverse Compton losses in the nuclear region.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to The American Astronomical Society.
ID Code:65271
Deposited On:17 Oct 2011 03:43
Last Modified:18 May 2016 13:21

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