Steps Toward Determination of the Size and Structure of the Broad-Line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei: VII. Variability of the Optical Spectrum of NGC 5548 over 4 Years
Peterson B.M., et al., 1994, ApJ 425, 622

We report on the results of a continuation of a large monitoring program of optical spectroscopy of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548. The new observations presented here were obtained between 1990 December and 1992 October, and extend the existing database to nearly 1400 days, dating back to 1988 December. The continuum variations are generally smooth and well-resolved, except during the third year of this 4 year project, when the variations were apparently more rapid and of lower amplitude than observed at other times. The broad H{beta} emission line is found to vary in response to the continuum variations with a lag of about 18 days, but with some changes from year to year. The H{beta} transfer functions for each of the 4 yr and for the entire 4 yr database are derived by using a maximum entropy method.

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