Continuum Reverberation Mapping of Mrk 876 over Three Years with Remote Robotic Observatories

Jake A. Miller, Edward M. Cackett, Michael R. Goad, Keith Horne, Aaron J. Barth, Encarni Romero-Colmenero, Michael Fausnaugh, Jonathan Gelbord, Kirk T. Korista, Hermine Landt, Tommaso Treu, Hartmut Winkler

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Continuum reverberation mapping probes the size scale of the optical continuum-emitting region in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Through 3 yr of multiwavelength photometric monitoring in the optical with robotic observatories, we perform continuum reverberation mapping on Mrk 876. All wave bands show large-amplitude variability and are well correlated. Slow variations in the light curves broaden the cross-correlation function (CCF) significantly, requiring detrending in order to robustly recover interband lags. We measure consistent interband lags using three techniques (CCF, JAVELIN, and PyROA), with a lag of around 13 days from u to z. These lags are longer than the expected radius of 12 days for the self-gravitating radius of the disk. The lags increase with wavelength roughly following λ4/3, as would be expected from thin disk theory, but the lag normalization is approximately a factor of 3 longer than expected, as has also been observed in other AGN. The lag in the i band shows an excess that we attribute to variable Hα broad-line emission. A flux–flux analysis shows a variable spectrum that follows fν ∝ λ−1/3, as expected for a disk, and an excess in the i band that also points to strong variable Hα emission in that band.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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