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Title:
Connecting radio variability to the characteristics of gamma-ray blazars
Authors:
Richards, J. L.; Hovatta, T.; Max-Moerbeck, W.; Pavlidou, V.; Pearson, T. J.; Readhead, A. C. S.
Affiliation:
AA(Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Ave, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA; ), AB(Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA), AC(National Radio Astronomy Observatory, PO Box 0, Socorro, NM 87801, USA), AD(Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas, IESL, Voutes, GR-7110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Department of Physics and Institute of Theoretical & Computational Physics, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, GR-710 03 Heraklion, Crete, Greece), AE(Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA), AF(Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 438, Issue 4, p.3058-3069 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
03/2014
Origin:
OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
galaxies: active, BL Lacertae objects: general, quasars: general, radio continuum: galaxies
Abstract Copyright:
2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnras/stt2412
Bibliographic Code:
2014MNRAS.438.3058R

Abstract

We present results from four years of twice-weekly 15 GHz radio monitoring of about 1500 blazars with the Owens Valley Radio Observatory 40 m telescope. Using the intrinsic modulation index to measure variability amplitude, we find that, with >6sigma significance, the radio variability of radio-selected gamma-ray-loud blazars is stronger than that of gamma-ray-quiet blazars. Our extended data set also includes at least 21 months of data for all AGN with `clean' associations in the Fermi Large Area Telescope First AGN Catalog, 1LAC. With these additional data, we examine the radio variability properties of a gamma-ray-selected blazar sample. Within this sample, we find no evidence for a connection between radio variability amplitude and optical classification. In contrast, for our radio-selected sample we find that the BL Lac object subpopulation is more variable than the flat-spectrum radio quasar (FSRQ) subpopulation. Radio variability is found to correlate with the synchrotron peak frequency, with low- and intermediate-synchrotron-peaked blazars varying more than high-synchrotron-peaked ones. We find evidence for a significant negative correlation between redshift and radio variability among bright FSRQs.
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