Kepler observations of rapid optical variability in the BL Lac object W2R1926+42
2016-02-10T10:23:32Z (GMT) by
We present the first Kepler monitoring of a strongly variable BL Lac, W2R1926+42. The light curve covers 181 days with ~0.2% errors, 30 minute sampling and >90% duty cycle, showing numerous delta I/I > 25% flares over timescales as short as a day. The flux distribution is highly skewed and non-Gaussian. The variability shows a strong rms-flux correlation with the clearest evidence to date for non-linearity in this relation. We introduce a method to measure periodograms from the discrete autocorrelation function, an approach that may be well-suited to a wide range of Kepler data. The periodogram is not consistent with a simple power-law, but shows a flattening at frequencies below 7x10-5 Hz. Simple models of the power spectrum, such as a broken power law, do not produce acceptable fits, indicating that the Kepler blazar light curve requires more sophisticated mathematical and physical descriptions than currently in use.