A Caltech Library Service

A search for the Perseus flasher and the limits on optical burst rates

Tokarz, Susan and Browne, Stanley and Klemola, A. R. and McCrosky, Richard and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Djorgovski, S. (1988) A search for the Perseus flasher and the limits on optical burst rates. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 100 (632). pp. 1228-1232. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1086/132308.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We conducted a study of the error box of the possible optical burster, reported by Katz et al. (1986). This “Perseus Flasher” was subsequently identified with satellite glints by Maley (1987), a conclusion with which we fully concur. Our study, completed before Maley’s report, involved a search for highly-variable objects on archival and newly-taken plates, with a total integration time of about 260 hours, a proper-motion survey of the area, deep optical imaging with a CCD, and a single-dish radio monitoring. We found no optical or radio bursts or any other unusual objects in this area. Our upper limit to the optical flash rate from the error box of the flash photographed by Katz et al. is at least 20 times lower than the flash rate reported by those authors. Similar negative results were achieved independently by other groups; like them, we conclude that the photographed flash was most likely caused by an Earth-orbiting artifact and that most of the remaining, visually-detected flashes were spurious. From our data, we derive limits on the optical flash rates from astrophysically-interesting sources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Djorgovski, S.0000-0002-0603-3087
Additional Information:© 1988 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 1988 April 27, revised 1988 July 11. Based in part on data obtained at Lick Observatory, University of California. We would like to thank Chen-Yuan Shao for obtaining most of the MC plates at Oak Ridge and Carl Heiles for obtaining the radio data. Hat Creek Observatory is operated by the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley. We also acknowledge stimulating conversations with Alan MacRobert and Brad Schaefer. We acknowledge partial support from Harvard University (S. D.), California Institute of Technology (S.R. K. and S.D.), and NSF grant AST 84-14142 (A.R.K.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Harvard UniversityUNSPECIFIED
NSFAST 84-14142
Subject Keywords:optical bursts-null observation-observational limits
Issue or Number:632
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190806-152259381
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Susan Tokarz et al 1988 PASP 100 1228
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97682
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 17:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:33

Repository Staff Only: item control page