Continuum reverberation mapping of Mrk 876 over three years with remote robotic observatories

Jake A. Miller, Edward Michael Cackett, Michael R. Goad, Keith Douglas Horne, Aaron J. Barth, Encarni Romero-Colmenero, Michael Fausnaugh, Jonathan Gelbord, Kirk T. Korista, Hermine Landt, Tommaso Treu, Hartmut Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Continuum reverberation mapping probes the sizescale of the optical continuum-emitting region in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Through 3 years of multiwavelength photometric monitoring in the optical with robotic observatories, we perform continuum reverberation mapping on Mrk~876. All wavebands show large amplitude variability and are well correlated. Slow variations in the light curves broaden the cross-correlation function (CCF) significantly, requiring detrending in order to robustly recover interband lags. We measure consistent interband lags using three techniques (CCF, JAVELIN, PyROA), with a lag of around 13~days from u to z. These lags are longer than the expected radius of 12~days for the self-gravitating radius of the disk. The lags increase with wavelength roughly following λ4/3, as would be expected from thin disk theory, but the lag normalization is approximately a factor of 3 longer than expected, as has also been observed in other AGN. The lag in the i band shows an excess which we attribute to variable Hα broad-line emission. A flux-flux analysis shows a variable spectrum that follows fν ∝ λ-1/3 as expected for a disk, and an excess in the i band that also points to strong variable Hα emission in that band.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Continuum reverberation mapping of Mrk 876 over three years with remote robotic observatories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this