Frail, D. A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Ofek, E. O. and Bower, G. C. and Nakar, E. (2012) A Revised View of the Transient Radio Sky. Astrophysical Journal, 747 (1). Art. No. 70. ISSN 0004-637X http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120327-085232949
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We report on a re-analysis of archival data from the Very Large Array for a sample of 10 long-duration radio transients reported by Bower and others. These transients have an implied all-sky rate that would make them the most common radio transient in the sky and yet most have no quiescent counterparts at other wavelengths and therefore no known progenitor (other than Galactic neutron stars). We find that more than half of these transients are due to rare data artifacts. The remaining sources have lower signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) than initially reported by 1σ-1.5σ. This lowering of S/N matters greatly since the sources are at the threshold. We are unable to decisively account for the S/N differences. By two orthogonal criteria one source appears to be a good detection. Thus the rate of long-duration radio transients without optical counterparts is, at best, comparable to that of the class of recently discovered Swift J1644+57 nuclear radio transients. We revisit the known and expected classes of long-duration radio transients and conclude that the dynamic radio sky remains a rich area for further exploration. Informed by the experience of past searches for radio transients, we suggest that future surveys pay closer attention to rare data errors and ensure that a wealth of sensitive multi-wavelength data be available in advance of the radio observations and that the radio searches should have assured follow-up resources.
|Additional Information:||© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 October 28; accepted 2011 December 28; published 2012 February 15. D.A.F. thanks Jim Condon and Alicia Soderberg for important discussions early on in this project. We thank Steve Croft for a most careful reading of the paper and J. Condon for making several insightful suggestions. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. S.R.K. thanks the Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin at Madison for its hospitality. E.O.O. is supported by an Einstein fellowship and NASA grants. S.R.K.’s research in part is supported by NASA and NSF. This research has made use of data from the University of Michigan Radio Astronomy Observatory which has been supported by the University of Michigan and by a series of grants from the National Science Foundation, most recently AST-0607523. This research has made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System.|
|Subject Keywords:||catalogs, radio continuum: galaxies, surveys|
|Official Citation:||A Revised View of the Transient Radio Sky D. A. Frail et al. 2012 ApJ 747 70|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Ruth Sustaita|
|Deposited On:||27 Mar 2012 16:13|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 14:59|
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