We have organized an extensive multiwavelength campaign on BL Lacertae in the second half of 2000. Simultaneous or quasi-simultaneous observations were taken at radio frequencies, in the optical --- carried out by the WEBT collaboration ---, in X-rays --- using BeppoSAX and RXTE ---, and at VHE gamma-rays with the CAT and HEGRA Cherenkov telescope facilities. In this paper, we are presenting first results from this campaign. The WEBT optical campaign achieved an unprecedented time coverage, virtually continuous over several 10 -- 20 hour segments, and revealed intraday variability on time scales of ~1.5 hours. The X-ray observations of Nov. 1 -- 2, 2000, revealed significant variability on similar time scales, and provided evidence for the synchrotron spectrum extending out to ~10 keV during that time. At higher energies, the onset of the hard power-law commonly observed in radio-loud quasars and radio-selected BL Lac objects is seen. From the energy-resolved X-ray variability patterns, we find evidence that electron cooling might not be dominated by one single radiation mechanism; rather, a combination of synchrotron and Compton cooling seems to be required.
X-ray Spectroscopy of AGN with Chandra and XMM-Newton
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