Date of Award

Fall 12-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

H. Richard Miller

Abstract

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are some of the most extreme objects in the universe. They output copious amounts of energy spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum. There are many different subclasses of AGN depending on your viewing angle. Blazars, viewing down the relativistic jet, are the most variable class of AGN known. They exhibit extreme variability in all wavelengths on timescales as short as minutes. In this thesis I will consider the extreme faintness of 3C279 with respect to the long-term light curve as well as recent observations of microvariability. I am able to confirm small amplitude events using simultaneous observations from two telescopes and cross correlation analysis. Transitory quasi-periodic oscillations are observed during two of the nights with confirmed microvariability.

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