BL Lacertae has been the target of four observing campaigns by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) collaboration. In this paper we present UBVRI light curves obtained by the WEBT from 1994 to 2002, including the last, extended BL Lac 2001 campaign. A total of about 7500 optical observations performed by 31 telescopes from Japan to Mexico have been collected, to be added to the ˜15,600 observations of the BL Lac Campaign 2000. All these data allow one to follow the source optical emission behaviour with unprecedented detail. The analysis of the colour indices reveals that the flux variability can be interpreted in terms of two components: longer-term variations occurring on a few-day time scale appear as mildly-chromatic events, while a strong bluer-when-brighter chromatism characterizes very fast (intraday) flares. By decoupling the two components, we quantify the degree of chromatism inferring that longer-term flux changes imply moving along a ˜ 0.1 bluer-when-brighter slope in the B-R versus R plane; a steeper slope of ˜ 0.4 would distinguish the shorter-term variations. This means that, when considering the long-term trend, the B-band flux level is related to the R-band one according to a power law of index ˜ 1.1. Doppler factor variations on a ``convex" spectrum could be the mechanism accounting for both the long-term variations and their slight chromatism.
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|Titolo:||The WEBT BL Lacertae Campaign 2001 and its extension. Optical light curves and colour analysis 1994-2002|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2004|
|Appare nella tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|