Automatized photometric monitoring of active galactic nuclei with the 46cm telescope of the wise observatory

Francisco Pozo Nuñez, Doron Chelouche, Shai Kaspi, Saar Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first results of an ongoing variability monitoring program of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) using the 46 cm telescope of the Wise Observatory in Israel. The telescope has a field of view of 1.25° × 0.84° and is specially equipped with five narrowband filters at 4300, 5200, 5700, 6200, and 7000 Å to perform photometric reverberation mapping studies of the central engine of AGNs. The program aims to observe a sample of 27 AGNs (V < 17 mag) selected according to tentative continuum and line time delay measurements obtained in previous works. We describe the autonomous operation of the telescope together with the fully automatic pipeline used to achieve high-performance unassisted observations, data reduction, and light curves extraction using different photometric methods. The science verification data presented here demonstrates the performance of the monitoring program in particular for efficiently photometric reverberation mapping of AGNs with additional capabilities to carry out complementary studies of other transient and variable phenomena such as variable stars studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094101
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number979
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
9 IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. 10 11 IDL is a trademark of Research Systems Inc., registered in the United States. 12

Funding Information:
This research has been partly supported by grants 950/15 from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF) and 3555/14-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Hive computer cluster at the university of Haifa is partly supported by ISF grant 2155/15. This work is based on observations collected at the Wise Observatory with the C18 telescope. The C18 telescope and most of its equipment were acquired with a grant from the Israel Space Agency (ISA) to operate a Near-Earth Asteroid Knowledge Center at Tel Aviv University. We thank Dan Maoz, the director of the Wise Observatory, for consistent support of the project. The observations at Wise observatory benefited from the continuous support of Tel Aviv university and from the care of the site manager Sami Ben-Gigi. We thank our referee Robert Antonucci for helpful comments and careful review of the manuscript. F.P.N thanks Christoph Bruckman and Angie Barr Dominguez for fruitful discussions and important feedback. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. All rights reserved.


  • Active-galaxies
  • Image processing-methods
  • Observational
  • Photometric-techniques
  • Seyfert-techniques
  • Surveys-galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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