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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 382-384 (1998)

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BVI microvariability in BL Lacertae during the summer 1997 outburst

R. Speziali 1 and G. Natali 2

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, I-00040 Monteporzio (RM), Italy
2 CNR, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere, I-00133 Tor Vergata (RM), Italy

Received 9 March 1998 / Accepted 10 March 1998


BL Lac has been observed during the outburst which occurred during the 1997 summer (Noble et al. 1997; Bloom et al. 1997) in three optical bands (BVIC), with the aim of studying the intranight colour variations on very short timescales. Due to the high luminosity of the source we could perform quasi-simultaneous measurements in the three bands with a resolving time of about 5 minutes using one single telescope. We have detected several microvariability events occurring on timescales ranging from 30 min up to 3.5 hours. The magnitude changes had different amplitudes in the three bands being larger for shorter wavelengths, and the source showed a marked trend to become bluer when brigther. There was no evidence of quasi-periodic oscillations in our multicolour light curves.

Key words: BL Lacertae objects: general – BL Lacertae objects: individual: BL Lac – techniques: photometric

Send offprint requests to: R. Speziali

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 21, 1998