Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 371, 1243-1250 (2006/September-3)
The optical spectral slope variability of 17 blazars.
HU S.M., ZHAO G., GUO H.Y., ZHANG X. and ZHENG Y.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Many quasi-simultaneous optical observations of 17 blazars are obtained from previous papers published over the last 19 years in order to investigate the spectral slope variability and understand the radiation mechanism of blazars. The long-period dereddened optical spectral slopes are calculated. We analyse the average spectral slope distribution, which suggests that the spectra of flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and high energy peaked BLLac objects (HBLs) are probably deformed by other emission components. The average spectral slopes of low energy peaked BLLac objects(LBLs), which scatter around 1.5, show a good accordance with the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) loss-dominated model. We present and discuss the variability between the spectral slope and optical luminosity. The spectra of all HBLs and LBLs get flatter when they turn brighter, while for FSRQs this trend does not exist or may even be reversed. This phenomenon may imply that there is a thermal contribution to the optical spectrum for FSRQs. For the FSRQ 1156+295, there is a hint that the slope gets flatter at both the brightest and faintest states. Our result shows that three subclasses locate in different regions in the pattern of slope variability indicator versus average spectral slope. The relativistic jet mechanism is supported by the significant correlation between the optical Doppler factor and the average spectral slope.