Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 May 2016
Like many radio-selected blazars, 0716+714 shows a high level of variability on different time scales, as short as a few days (e.g. Wagner et al 1996, Ghisellini et al. 1997). The mechanism of the emission in the optical band, in the general scheme of a relativistic plasma jet highy collimated toward the observer, is generally believed to be synchrotron radiation from electrons in a strong magnetic field. Our monitoring of S5 0716+714 is aimed to clarify whether the flux variations are chromatic or achromatic. In the first case, one could guess that variations in the spectrum of the injected electrons are responsible for the flux variations; in the second case, geometrical effects like small changes in the angle between the jet and the line of sight could be more likely (Wagner et al. 1993).
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