Steps Toward Determination of the Size and Structure of the
Broad-Line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei:
XII. Ground-Based Monitoring of 3C 390.3
Dietrich, M., et al. 1998, ApJS, 115, 185.
Results of a ground-based optical monitoring campaign on 3C 390.3 in 1994-95 are presented. The broad-band fluxes (B, V, R, and I), the spectrophotometric optical continuum flux Flambda(5177 Å), and the integrated emission-line fluxes of Halpha, Hbeta, Hgamma, He I 5876, and He II 4686 all show a nearly monotonic increase with episodes of milder short-term variations superposed. The amplitude of the continuum variations increases with decreasing wavelength (4400 - 9000 Å). The optical continuum variations follow the variations in the ultraviolet and X-ray with time delays, measured from the centroids of the cross-correlation functions, typically around 5 days, but with uncertainties also typically around 5 days; zero time delay between the high-energy and low-energy continuum variations cannot be ruled out. The strong optical emission lines Halpha, Hbeta, Hgamma, and He I 5876, respond to the high-energy continuum variations with time delays typically about 20 days, with uncertainties of about 8 days. There is some evidence that He II 4686 responds somewhat more rapidly, with a time delay of around 10 days, but again, the uncertainties are quite large (~8 days). The mean and rms spectra of the Halpha and Hbeta line profiles provide indications for the existence of at least three distinct components located at +/- 4000 and 0 km s-1 relative to the line peak. The emission-line profile variations are largest near line center.