Modelling the millimetre-infrared flaring behaviour of the quasar 1253-055 (3C279)
Stevens, J. A.
The infrared through millimetre light curve of 3C279 is investigated for the period of 1986 until mid-1994, during which time several flares were observed. A quiescent spectrum (identified with emission from an underlying jet) is presented. Both the near-IR and 375–150 GHz regimes are shown to be well described by power laws, with no evidence for any thermal contribution in the IR. Successful isolation of the flaring component by subtraction of a base level is found to be difficult. Dividing each individual flare into two regimes corresponding to before and after maximum flux, we find strong linear correlations between log 90 GHz flux and 22–90 GHz spectral slope. Furthermore, the gradient of the linear correlation steepens as the flare decays after maximum. This trend is observed for several successive flares, and can be successfully explained in terms of evolution of the flare according to the the shocked-jet model of Marscher & Gear (1985).