Using Long-term Optical/Infrared Color Variability to Trace the Gamma-Ray Jet in Blazars

Using 8-years of optical/near-infrared (OIR) photometry collected with the Small and Medium Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS) 1.3m + ANDICAM instrument in Cerro Tololo, Chile, I present near-daily OIR color variability diagrams of Flat Spectrum Radio Quasar 3C 279 and compare the OIR flux and color to the Fermi gamma-ray flux on similar cadence. I then analyze the color variability properties on short and long timescales, as compared to the length of an average gamma-ray flare, to better constrain the physical mechanisms responsible for the variability properties that are observed. From this long-term observational data, I develop a schematic representation of the possible color variability behaviors in blazars and how it is related to the thermal disk and non-thermal jet contributions.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 301.

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