Investigating Multiwavelength Lognormality with Simulations—Case of Mrk 421

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Blazars are highly variable and display complex characteristics. A key characteristic is the flux probability distribution function or flux PDF whose shape depends upon the form of the underlying physical process driving variability. The BL Lacertae Mrk 421 is one of the brightest and most variable blazars across the electromagnetic spectrum. It has been reported to show hints of lognormality across the spectrum from radio to gamma-ray histograms of observed fluxes. This would imply that the underlying mechanisms may not conform to the “standard” additive, multi-zone picture, but could potentially have multiplicative processes. This is investigated by testing the observed lightcurves at different wavelengths with time-series simulations. We find that the simulations reveal a more complex scenario, than a single lognormal distribution explaining the multiwavelength lightcurves of Mrk 421.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


This research was funded by the European Research Council via the CUNDA project under grant number 694509.


  • blazars
  • variability
  • lognormality
  • Mrk 421


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