The lick agn monitoring project: Photometric light curves and optical variability characteristics

Jonelle L. Walsh, Takeo Minezaki, Misty C. Bentz, Aaron J. Barth, Nairn Baliber, Weidong Li, Daniel Stern, Vardha Nicola Bennert, Timothy M. Brown, Gabriela Canalizo, Alexei V. Filippenko, Elinor L. Gates, Jenny E. Greene, Matthew A. Malkan, Yu Sakata, Rachel A. Street, Tommaso Treu, Jong Hak Woo, Yuzuru Yoshii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The Lick AGN Monitoring Project targeted 13 nearby Seyfert 1 galaxies with the intent of measuring the masses of their central black holes using reverberation mapping. The sample includes 12 galaxies selected to have black holes with masses roughly in the range 106-107 M , as well as the well-studied active galactic nucleus (AGN) NGC 5548. In conjunction with a spectroscopic monitoring campaign, we obtained broadband B and V images on most nights from 2008 February through 2008 May. The imaging observations were carried out by four telescopes: the 0.76 m Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope, the 2 m Multicolor Active Galactic Nuclei Monitoring telescope, the Palomar 60 inch (1.5 m) telescope, and the 0.80 m Tenagra II telescope. Having well-sampled light curves over the course of a few months is useful for obtaining the broad-line reverberation lag and black hole mass, and also allows us to examine the characteristics of the continuum variability. In this paper, we discuss the observational methods and the photometric measurements, and present the AGN continuum light curves. We measure various variability characteristics of each of the light curves. We do not detect any evidence for a time lag between the B- and V-band variations, and we do not find significant color variations for the AGNs in our sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-170
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: nuclei


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