Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1307.5831 (Arti Goyal et al.)

Improved characterisation of intra-night optical variability of prominent AGN classes    [PDF]

Arti Goyal, Gopal-Krishna, Paul J. Wiita, C. S. Stalin, Ram Sagar
The incidence of intra-night optical variability (INOV) is known to to differ significantly among different classes of powerful active galactic nuclei (AGN). A number of statistical methods have been employed in the literature for testing the presence of INOV in the light curves, sometimes leading to discordant results. In this paper we compare the INOV characteristics of six prominent classes of AGN, as evaluated using three commonly used statistical tests, namely the $\chi^2-$test, the modified $C-$test and the $F-$test, which has recently begun to gain popularity. The AGN classes considered are: radio-quiet quasars (RQQs), radio-intermediate quasars (RIQs), lobe-dominated quasars (LDQs), low optical polarization core-dominated quasars (LPCDQs), high optical polarization core-dominated quasars (HPCDQs), and TeV blazars. Our analysis is based on a large body of AGN monitoring data, involving 262 sessions of intra-night monitoring of a total 77 AGN, using 1-2 metre class optical telescopes located in India. In order to compare the usefulness of the statistical tests, we have also subjected them to a `sanity check' by comparing the number of false positives yielded by each test with the corresponding statistical prediction. The present analysis is intended to serve as a benchmark for future INOV studies of AGN of different classes.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.5831

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