Robotic reverberation mapping of arp 151

S. Valenti, D. J. Sand, A. J. Barth, K. Horne, T. Treu, L. Raganit, T. Boroson, S. Crawford, A. Pancoast, L. Pei, E. Romero-Colmenero, C. Villforth, H. Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We present the first results from the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) Network's Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) Key Project, a large program devoted to using the robotic resources of LCOGT to perform time domain studies of active galaxies. We monitored the Seyfert 1 galaxy Arp 151 (Mrk 40) for ∼200 days with robotic imagers and with the FLOYDS robotic spectrograph at Faulkes Telescope North. Arp 151 was highly variable during this campaign, with V-band light curve variations of ∼0.3 mag and Hβ flux changing by a factor of ∼3. We measure robust time lags between the V-band continuum and the Hα, Hβ, and Hγ emission lines, with , and days, respectively. The lag for the He iiλ4686 emission line is unresolved. We measure a velocity-resolved lag for the Hβ line, which is clearly asymmetric with higher lags on the blue wing of the line that decline to the red, possibly indicative of radial inflow, and is similar in morphology to past observations of the Hβ transfer function shape. Assuming a virialization factor of f = 5.5, we estimate a black hole mass of × 106 Mo, also consistent with past measurements for this object. These results represent the first step to demonstrate the powerful robotic capabilities of LCOGT for long-term AGN time domain campaigns that human intensive programs cannot easily accomplish. Arp 151 is now one of just a few AGNs where the virial product is known to remain constant against substantial changes in Hβ lag and luminosity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL36
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2015


  • galaxies: Seyfert
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual (Arp 151)
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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