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2017MNRAS.467..340Z - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 467, 340-352 (2017/May-1)

Microvariability in AGNs: study of different statistical methods - I. Observational analysis.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present the results of a study of different statistical methods currently used in the literature to analyse the (micro)variability of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from ground-based optical observations. In particular, we focus on the comparison between the results obtained by applying the so-called C and F statistics, which are based on the ratio of standard deviations and variances, respectively. The motivation for this is that the implementation of these methods leads to different and contradictory results, making the variability classification of the light curves of a certain source dependent on the statistics implemented. For this purpose, we re-analyse the results on an AGN sample observed along several sessions with the 2.15 m 'Jorge Sahade' telescope (CASLEO), San Juan, Argentina. For each AGN, we constructed the nightly differential light curves. We thus obtained a total of 78 light curves for 39 AGNs, and we then applied the statistical tests mentioned above, in order to re-classify the variability state of these light curves and in an attempt to find the suitable statistical methodology to study photometric (micro)variations. We conclude that, although the C criterion is not proper a statistical test, it could still be a suitable parameter to detect variability and that its application allows us to get more reliable variability results, in contrast with the F test.

Abstract Copyright: © 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): methods: statistical - techniques: photometric - galaxies: active - galaxies: active

Simbad objects: 40

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