We present ground-based observations of the BL Lac object PKS 2155 - 304 during 1991 November. These data were obtained as part of a large international campaign of observations spanning the electro-magnetic spectrum from the radio waves to the X-rays. The data presented here include radio, and UBVRI fluxes, as well as optical polarimetry. The U to I data show the same behavior in all bands and that only upper limits to any lag can be deduced from the cross-correlation of the light curves. The spectral slope in the U-I domain remained constant on all epochs but 2. There is no correlation between changes in the spectral slope and large variations in the total or polarized flux. The radio flux variations did not follow the same pattern of variability as the optical and infrared fluxes. The polarized flux varied by a larger factor than the total flux. The variations of the polarized flux are poorly correlated with those of the total flux in the optical (and hence UV domain; see the accompanying paper by Edelson et al.) nor with those of the soft X-rays. We conclude that the variability of PKS 2155-304 in the optical and near-infrared spectral domains are easier to understand in the context of a variable geometry or bulk Lorentz factor than of variable electron acceleration and cooling rates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science