NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0260

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Program Information for 2017B-0260


PI: Grant R Tremblay, Yale U., grant.tremblay@yale.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, PO BOX 208101, NEW HAVEN, CT 06520-8101 USA

CoI: Bernd Husemann, Max Planck Institut fur Astrophysik
CoI: Rebecca McElroy, U. of Sydney
CoI: Tanya Urrutia, Leibniz-Institut fuer Astrophysik
CoI: Mirko Krumpe, Leibniz-Institut fuer Astrophysik
CoI: Miguel Perez-Torres, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
CoI: Timothy Davis, Cardiff University
CoI: Meredith Powell, Yale U.
CoI: Julia Scharwaechter, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Gerold Busch, I. Physikal Institut, University of Cologne
CoI: Andreas Eckart, I. Physikal Institut, University of Cologne
CoI: Francoise Combes, Paris Observatory (LERMA)
CoI: Scott Croom, U. of Sydney

Title: Monitoring changing-look AGN Mrk 1018 as its central engine reignites

Abstract: We request high cadence monitoring of the "changing look" AGN Mrk 1018, whose central engine is currently underoing dramatic re-ignition after a recent drop in luminosity. This source was one of the first-known changing look AGN, having converted from a Type 1.9 to a Type 1 in 1984. In 2015, our observations from the Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS) discovered that it had changed back to a Type 1.9 after thirty stable years. Immediate follow-up showed that the dimming by a factor of 10 is related to an intrinsic fading of the accretion disc, and not caused by an obscuring cloud in the torus. We were stunned to recently learn that Mrk1018 reached a minimum brightness end of November 2016, and is now re-brightening *again* at a rate of ~0.23mag/month. We urgently propose a systematic photometric and spectroscopic monitoring campaign with GMOS, enabling high-cadence (~2 week) observations as its nucleus re-ignites. With this short cadence over a long temporal baseline, we will be able to map the kinematics of the BLR through reverberation mapping, and test whether a circumnuclear outflow or a binary black hole interaction is responsible for variability in the accretion disc luminosity.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 3.03hrs band 1 (GN-2017B-Q-32)
Run 3 (2017B):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 21.07hrs band 1 (GS-2017B-Q-29)


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