THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY REVERBERATION MAPPING PROJECT: RAPID C

C. J. Grier, P. B. Hall, W. N. Brandt, J. R. Trump, Yue Shen, M. Vivek, N. Filiz Ak, Yuguang Chen, K. S. Dawson, K. D. Denney, Paul J. Green, Linhua Jiang, C. S. Kochanek, Ian D. McGreer, I. Pris, B. M. Peterson, D. P. Schneider, Charling Tao, W. M. Wood-Vasey, Dmitry BizyaevJian Ge, Karen Kinemuchi, Daniel Oravetz, Kaike Pan, Audrey Simmons

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Abstract

We report the discovery of rapid variations of a high-velocity C iv broad absorption line trough in the quasar SDSS J141007.74+541203.3. This object was intensively observed in 2014 as a part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project, during which 32 epochs of spectroscopy were obtained with the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey spectrograph. We observe significant (>4σ) variability in the equivalent width (EW) of the broad (∼4000 km s-1 wide) C iv trough on rest-frame timescales as short as 1.20 days (∼29 hr), the shortest broad absorption line variability timescale yet reported. The EW varied by ∼10% on these short timescales, and by about a factor of two over the duration of the campaign. We evaluate several potential causes of the variability, concluding that the most likely cause is a rapid response to changes in the incident ionizing continuum. If the outflow is at a radius where the recombination rate is higher than the ionization rate, the timescale of variability places a lower limit on the density of the absorbing gas of ne 3.9 ×105 cm-3. The broad absorption line variability characteristics of this quasar are consistent with those observed in previous studies of quasars, indicating that such short-term variability may in fact be common and thus can be used to learn about outflow characteristics and contributions to quasar/host-galaxy feedback scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume806
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Grier, C. J., Hall, P. B., Brandt, W. N., Trump, J. R., Shen, Y., Vivek, M., Ak, N. F., Chen, Y., Dawson, K. S., Denney, K. D., Green, P. J., Jiang, L., Kochanek, C. S., McGreer, I. D., Pris, I., Peterson, B. M., Schneider, D. P., Tao, C., Wood-Vasey, W. M., ... Simmons, A. (2015). THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY REVERBERATION MAPPING PROJECT: RAPID C. Astrophysical Journal, 806(1), [111]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/806/1/111