Multiwavelength Monitoring of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxy Akn 564. III. Optical Observations and the Optical-UV-X-ray Connection

Shemmer, O. et al. (32 authors including P. Martini) 2001, ApJ, 561, 162

We present the results of a two-year long optical monitoring program of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy Akn 564. The majority of this monitoring project was also convered by X-ray observations (RXTE) and for a period of ~50 days, we observed the galaxy in UV (HST) and X-rays (RXTE & ASCA) simultaneously with ground-based observations. Rapid and large-amplitude variations seen in the X-ray band, on a daily and hourly time-scale, were not detected at optical and UV wavelengths, which in turn exhibited much lower variability either on short (one day) or long (several months) time-scales. The only significant optical variations can be described as two 2-4 day events with ~10% flux variations. We detect no significant optical line variations and thus cannot infer a reverberation size for the broad-line region. Similarly, the large X-ray variations seem to vanish when the light curve is smoothed over a period of 30 days. The UV continuum follows the X-rays with a lag of ~0.4 days, and the optical band lags the UV band by ~2 days. No significant correlation was found between the entire X-ray dataset and the optical band. Focusing on a 20-day interval around the strongest optical event we detect a significant X-ray--optical correlation with similar events seen in the UV and X-rays. Our data are consistent with reprocessing models on the grounds of the energy emitted in this single event. However, several large X-ray flares produced no corresponding optical emission.

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