The GASP-WEBT monitoring of 3C 454.3 during the 2008 optical-to-radio and γ-ray outburst

M. Villata, C. M. Raiteri, M. A. Gurwell, V. M. Larionov, O. M. Kurtanidze, M. F. Aller, A. LähteenmäKi, W. P. Chen, K. Nilsson, I. Agudo, H. D. Aller, A. A. Arkharov, U. Bach, R. Bachev, P. Beltrame, E. Benítez, C. S. Buemi, M. BöTtcher, P. Calcidese, D. CapezzaliD. Carosati, D. Da Rio, A. Di Paola, M. Dolci, D. Dultzin, E. Forné, J. L. GóMez, V. A. Hagen-Thorn, A. Halkola, J. Heidt, D. Hiriart, T. Hovatta, H. Y. Hsiao, S. G. Jorstad, G. N. Kimeridze, T. S. Konstantinova, E. N. Kopatskaya, E. Koptelova, P. Leto, R. Ligustri, E. Lindfors, J. M. Lopez, A. P. Marscher, M. Mommert, R. Mujica, M. G. Nikolashvili, N. Palma, M. Pasanen, M. Roca-Sogorb, J. A. Ros, P. Roustazadeh, A. C. Sadun, J. Saino, L. A. Sigua, M. Sorcia, L. O. Takalo, M. Tornikoski, C. Trigilio, R. Turchetti, G. Umana

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Context. Since 2001, the radio quasar 3C 454.3 has undergone a period of high optical activity, culminating in the brightest optical state ever observed, during the 2004-2005 outburst. The Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) consortium has carried out several multifrequency campaigns to follow the source behaviour.Aims. The GLAST-AGILE Support Program (GASP) was born from the WEBT to provide long-term continuous optical-to-radio monitoring of a sample of γ-loud blazars, during the operation of the AGILE and GLAST (now known as Fermi GST) γ-ray satellites. The main aim is to shed light on the mechanisms producing the high-energy radiation, through correlation analysis with the low-energy emission. Thus, since 2008 the monitoring task on 3C 454.3 passed from the WEBT to the GASP, while both AGILE and Fermi detected strong γ-ray emission from the source.Methods. We present the main results obtained by the GASP at optical, mm, and radio frequencies in the 2008-2009 season, and compare them with the WEBT results from previous years.Results. An optical outburst was observed to peak in mid July 2008, when Fermi detected the brightest γ-ray levels. A contemporaneous mm outburst maintained its brightness for a longer time, until the cm emission also reached the maximum levels. The behaviour compared in the three bands suggests that the variable relative brightness of the different-frequency outbursts may be due to the changing orientation of a curved inhomogeneous jet. The optical light curve is very well sampled during the entire season, which is also well covered by the various AGILE and Fermi observing periods. The relevant cross-correlation studies will be very important in constraining high-energy emission models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L9-L12
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2009


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: jets
  • Galaxies: quasars: general
  • Galaxies: quasars: individual: 3C 454.3


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