Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) at their most basic level are supermassive blackholes that emit light. While that sounds paradoxical, it speaks volumes to how little we know about these extraordinary objects. One technique that can be used, and was used here to better understand these objects is reverberation mapping. We employed this method on the AGN Markarian 421 (Mrk 421) at Bridgewater State University (BSU). Mrk 421 was chosen because it is the brightest known AGN, averaging 12.7 magnitudes, and the observational abilities of BSU are best suited for objects brighter than 18 magnitudes in optical wavelengths. We observed Mrk 421 in green, red, infrared, and hydrogen-alpha filters from March 12th, 2021 to July 15th, 2021. These data support a minimum diameter of 14 light-days 1 light-hour 39 light-minutes and 58 light-seconds for Markarian 421. Further work is needed to obtain spectral data of Mrk 421 as well as additional observations to find potential patterns or similarities in bursts from this body.
Physics, Photonics, and Optical Engineering
Prof. Jamie Kern, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Martina Arndt, Committee Member
Dr. Thomas Kling, Committee Member
Whitman, Alex. (2022). Reverberation Mapping of Markarian 421 using V,R, I, and Ha Filters. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 571. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/571
Copyright © 2022 Alex Whitman