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Discovery Areas with Time Domain Radio Astronomy

by Carolyn Hunsinger last modified Apr 24, 2013

Shami Chatterjee (Cornell University)

Discovery Areas with Time Domain Radio Astronomy


Systematic studies of the time-variable radio sky have revealed a wide range of unexpected (and in some cases unexplained) phenomena. We expect the pace of discovery to accelerate in the LSST era, as time domain surveys at existing facilities and SKA pathfinder instruments push further on sensitivity, field of view, and sky coverage. I will speculate on three promising areas of nearterm discovery that have implications for the future radio astronomy discovery space: (i) High resolution time domain surveys at Arecibo, GBT, Parkes, and future facilities will detect many more single-pulse sources, and may confirm the extragalactic and possibly cosmological nature of some of these. (ii) Time domain imaging surveys with the Jansky VLA, ASKAP, LOFAR, etc. will reveal many more intermittent objects and transient events with multiwavelength counterparts. (iii) Gravitational wave detectors such as Advanced LIGO and pulsar timing arrays will detect sources of continuous and burst emission whose  electromagnetic counterparts will be accessible through prompt or archival  observations. Radio astronomy is thus poised (budgets permitting) to enter an unparalleled era of discovery in the time domain.