PKS 0736+017: A striking optical flare and intriguing microvariability
Clements, Sandra D.
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The compact, flat-spectrum radio quasar PKS 0736+017 was monitored for microvariability on 10 nights in early 2002 using the 0.9 m SARA telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona. On January 14, PKS 0736+017 flared dramatically, brightening by 1.3 R mag in 2 hours. Prior to the flare, PKS 0736+017 exhibited quasi-periodic variations. During and after the flare, more complex oscillations occurred. Impressive variability was displayed on two additional nights in January, while observations during the following 3 months found PKS 0736+017 to be fairly quiescent. PKS 0736+017 was somewhat redder while brighter and fading than when dimmer but flaring. During flaring or fading episodes, the color remained approximately constant. Thus, it appears that for these observations, color is related more to the nature of the variation than it is to the brightness level.