We present a new set of 84 Broad absorption line (BAL) quasars ( 1.7 < zem< 4.4) exhibiting an appearance of C iv BAL troughs over 0.3−4.8 rest-frame years by comparing the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release (SDSSDR)-7, SDSSDR-12, and SDSSDR-14 quasar catalogs. We contrast the nature of BAL variability in this appearing BAL quasar sample with a disappearing BAL quasar sample studied in literature by comparing the quasar’s intrinsic, BAL trough, and continuum parameters between the two samples. We find that appearing BAL quasars have relatively higher redshift and smaller probed timescales as compared to the disappearing BAL quasars. To mitigate the effect of any redshift bias, we created control samples of appearing and disappearing BAL quasars that have similar redshift distribution. We find that the appearing BAL quasars are relatively brighter and have shallower and wider BAL troughs compared to the disappearing BAL sample. The distribution of quasar continuum variability parameters between the two samples is clearly separated, with the appearance of the BAL troughs being accompanied by the dimming of the continuum and vice versa. Spectral index variations in the two samples also point to the anti-correlation between the BAL trough and continuum variations consistent with the ”bluer when brighter” trend in quasars. We show that the intrinsic dust model is less likely to be a favorable scenario in explaining BAL appearance/disappearance. Our analysis suggests that the extreme variations of BAL troughs like BAL appearance/disappearance are mainly driven by changes in the ionization conditions of the absorbing gas.
We report the first systematic search for blazars among broad-absorption-line (BAL) quasars. This is based on our intranight optical monitoring of a well-defined sample of 10 candidates selected on the criteria of a flat spectrum and an abnormally high linear polarization at radio wavelengths. A small population of BAL blazars can be expected in the 'polar model' of BAL quasars. However, no such case is found, since none of our 30 monitoring sessions devoted to the 10 candidates yielded a positive detection of intra-night optical variability (INOV), which is uncharacteristic of blazars. This lack of INOV detection contrasts with the high duty cycle of INOV observed for a comparison sample of 15 'normal' (i.e., non-BAL) blazars. Some possible implications of this are pointed out.
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