A multiwavelength investigation of blazar-type active galactic nuclei.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
A multiwavelength investigation is conducted for nineteen blazar-type active galactic nuclei. Studies of variability timescales and flux duty cycles are performed at x- and gamma-rays for each source, with the relationship between flux and spectral index also being probed at gamma wavelengths. The correlation between these two energy ranges is also investigated, by utilising the Discrete Correlation Function with both one and ten day binning. The sources were chosen for their availability over a range of different x- and gamma-ray data sources: observations utilised include 0.2 - 150 keV x-ray data from the Swift mission and 200 MeV- 300 GeV gamma-ray data from the Fermi mission. Daily-binned Fermi data is used to calculate the smallest rise and decay e-folding times in gamma for each source. The results range from 0.4 to 21 days, corresponding to limits on the size of the gamma emission region ranging from Rd^-1 = 4.39 x 10^12 to Rd^-1 = 5.14 x 10^14 m. Flux duty cycles for fourteen sources are created from Fermi data, with six displaying structure at high fluxes that indicate flaring states have occured. Five of these six sources also display clear flares in their light curves, confirming these results. The relationship between the flux and the spectral index shows eight of nineteen sources exhibit harder-when-brighter behaviour. Four of these eight have been previously confirmed to display such behaviour. Results from the Discrete Correlation Function show a correlation at a time lag of ~ 600 days for H 1426+428, of uncertain origin. Gaussian functions are fitted to possible near-zero peaks in 3C 66A, 3C 454.3 and Mrk 421, which could be indicative of a synchrotron self-Compton component to the emission of these objects.