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Today's Colloquium: Here Be Dragons: The Dynamic Radio Sky

Submitter: Geoffrey Bower (Univ. of California, Berkeley)
Description: Radio variability probes a wide range of astrophysical phenomena from the solar system to the early Universe including black holes, neutron stars, gravitational wave sources, tidal disruption events, and relativistic shocks from collapsing stars. Radio follow-up of events discovered at optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths demonstrates a rich phenomenology but we lack a systematic and sensitive view of radio variability. Our efforts in recent years with the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) have provided the beginnings of an unbiased exploration on time scales from milliseconds to decades. Powered by development of unique digital instrumentation, new algorithms, and new survey strategies, our surveys have defined the shape of next generation radio telescopes and surveys. In particular, these surveys are shaping our understanding of radio supernovae, tidal disruption events, and gravitational-wave sources. Planned surveys with newly commissioned national facilities such as the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA), LOFAR, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), and the South African MeerKAT telescopes coupled with the development of new instrumentation will extend our reach into new parameter space.
Copyright: Allen Telescope Array (ATA)
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