Journal article

Measuring the size of quasar broad-line clouds through time-delay light-curve anomalies of gravitational lenses

JSB Wyithe, A Loeb

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL | UNIV CHICAGO PRESS | Published : 2002

Abstract

Intensive monitoring campaigns have recently attempted to measure the time delays between multiple images of gravitational lenses. Some of the resulting light curves show puzzling low-level, rapid variability that is unique to individual images, superposed on (and concurrent with) longer timescale intrinsic quasar variations that repeat in all images. We demonstrate that both the amplitude and variability timescale of the rapid light-curve anomalies are naturally explained by stellar microlensing of a smooth accretion disk that is occulted by optically thick broad-line clouds. This model also explains the observed correlation between microlensing and intrinsic variability. The rapid timescal..

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University of Melbourne Researchers