EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 475, Number 1, November III 2007
Page(s) 199 - 207
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077624

A&A 475, 199-207 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077624

Host galaxy subtraction of TeV candidate BL Lacertae objects

K. Nilsson1, M. Pasanen1, L. O. Takalo1, E. Lindfors1, 2, A. Berdyugin1, S. Ciprini1, 3, and J. Pforr4

1  Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
    e-mail: kani@utu.fi
2  Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Helsinki University of Technology, 02540 Kylmälä, Finland
3  INFN Perugia & Physics Dept., University of Perugia, via Pascoli, 06123 Perugia, Italy
4  Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

(Received 10 April 2007 / Accepted 8 September 2007)

Context. Photometric monitoring of active galactic nuclei is often complicated by the presence of a strong host galaxy component, which adds unwanted flux to the measurement and introduces a seeing-dependence to the flux that can plaque e.g. microvariability studies. We are currently monitoring a sample of 24 TeV candidate BL Lacertae objects, many of which exhibit a prominent host galaxy component, using differential aperture photometry.
Aims. In order to study our light curves free from the above effects, we have derived the host galaxy flux in differential aperture photometry as a function of aperture radius and FWHM for 20 resolved sources in our sample.
Methods. We created accurate surface brightness models of the targets and any significant nearby sources using high-resolution R-band imaging obtained at the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) and performed differential aperture photometry of the models over a grid of aperture radii and FWHM values.
Results. The results are given as correction tables, that list the fluxes (in mJy) of all "contaminating" sources (host galaxy + significant nearby objects) as a function of aperture radius and FWHM. We found that the derived fluxes depend strongly on aperture radius, but the FWHM has only a minor effect (a few percent). We also discuss the implications of our findings to optical monitoring programs and potential sources of error in our derived fluxes. During this work we have also constructed new calibration star sequences for 9 objects and present the finding charts and calibrated magnitudes.

Key words: galaxies: active -- BL Lacertae objects: general -- techniques: photometric -- methods: data analysis

© ESO 2007