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The Transient Universe AY 250 Geoff Bower Bayeux tapestry commemorating SN of 1066 What is Transient Astronomy? What is Transient Astronomy? What isn’t? 20/43 astronomical phenomena (from Harwit 1984) involve or were discovered by transient or variable phenomena. Stars Planets Novae

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the transient universe ay 250

The Transient UniverseAY 250

Geoff Bower

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

slide2

Bayeux tapestry

commemorating

SN of 1066

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

what is transient astronomy
What is Transient Astronomy?

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

what is transient astronomy4
What is Transient Astronomy?
  • What isn’t?
    • 20/43 astronomical phenomena (from Harwit 1984) involve or were discovered by transient or variable phenomena.

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

phenomena transient phenomena harwit 1984
Stars

Planets

Novae

Comets

Moons

Rings

Galactic clusters

Clusters of galaxies

Interplanetary matter

Asteroids

Multiple stars

Variable stars with nebulosity

Planetary nebulae

Globular clusters

Ionized gas clouds

Giants/main sequence stars

Cosmic rays

Pulsating variables

White dwarfs

Galaxies

Cosmic expansion

Interstellar dust

Novae/supernovae

Galaxies with/without gas

Supernova remnants

Radio galaxies

Magnetic variables

Flare stars

Interstellar magnetic fields

X-ray stars

X-ray background

Quasars

Microwave background

Masers

Infrared stars

X-ray galaxies

Pulsars

Gamma-ray background

Infrared galaxies

Superluminal sources

Gamma-ray bursts

Unidentified radio sources

PhenomenaTransient Phenomena(Harwit 1984)

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

what is transient astronomy6
What is Transient Astronomy?
  • What isn’t?
    • 20/43 astronomical phenomena (from Harwit 1984) involve or were discovered by transient or variable phenomena.
  • The study of variable and ephemeral phenomena in the sky…

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

what is transient astronomy ii
What is Transient Astronomy? II
  • Where the timescale of variability is comparable to or less than a human graduate student timescale.
    • Giant pulses (nanoseconds)
    • Long wavelength radio afterglows (years)
  • Transient in flux
    • Undetectable to detectable
    • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Variable in flux
    • Exoplanet transits (milli) to a galactic supernova (mega-mega)
    • But solar variability?
  • Variable in position
    • Asteroids, KBOs
    • Astrometry?
  • Variable in spectrum, polarization
    • Exoplanet radial velocities?
  • Variable particle emission

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

solar transient activity
Solar Transient Activity

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

Nita et al 2004

solar transient activity9
Solar Transient Activity

Nita et al 2004

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

what is transient astronomy iii
What is Transient Astronomy? III
  • Answer is clearly human and telescope-dependent
  • The bigger the telescope, the longer the timescale the more transient phenomena
  • Critical from antiquity to the present in advancing our understanding of the Universe

Bayeux tapestry

commemorating

SN of 1066

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

three important examples in current astronomy
Three Important Examples in Current Astronomy
  • Supernovae
    • Discovered in antiquity
    • Understood in modern era along with nucleosynthesis, stellar life cycle
    • Probes of the geometry of the Universe
  • Gamma-ray bursts
    • Discovered in modern era through military technology
    • Understood with advent of new telescopes
    • Probes of star formation at high redshift
  • Pulsars
    • Discovered in modern era with new telescope
    • Understood through accumulation of examples
    • Probes of general relativity, interstellar medium, nuclear equation of state

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

examples of transients that will become critical
Examples of Transients That Will Become Critical
  • Killer asteroids
  • Exoplanets
    • Stellar transits as probe of size
    • Radio emission as probe of magnetic and stellar winds
  • Gravity waves
    • A generation of non-detections
    • Black hole & NS mergers
  • Neutrino sources
    • SN 1987A
  • SETI

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

examples of transients that will become critical13
Examples of Transients That Will Become Critical

The Unknown

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

expansion of parameter space discovery
Expansion of Parameter Space  Discovery
  • Cosmic Discovery, Harwit 1984
  • Parameter space
    • Sensitivity
    • wavelength
    • angular resolution
    • spectral resolution
    • time resolution
    • polarization
    • particle mode

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

trends of discovery harwit
Trends of Discovery(Harwit)
  • Most important discoveries result from substantial technological innovation
  • Following a new technique, discovery follows quickly
  • Novel instrument soon exhausts its capacity for discovery
  • New discoveries are often made by physicists or engineers from outside astronomy
  • Many discoveries involve military technology
  • Instruments used in the discovery were often constructed by the discoverer
  • Discoveries often occur by chance

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

how much is left to be discovered
How Much Is Left to Be Discovered?
  • Harwit 1984 makes counting arguments that suggest 10 – 30% of all discoveries have been made
  • Time scale for discoveries are centuries to millenia

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

a new generation of telescopes
A New Generation of Telescopes

Gamma-ray

Radio

Optical

Swift

GLAST

LOFAR

MWA

LWA

ATA

EVLA

ALMA

SKA

Pan Starrs

LSST

KAIT

PAIRITEL

ROTSE III

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

radio
Radio
  • MWA
  • LWA
  • LOFAR
  • ATA
  • EVLA
  • ALMA
  • SKA

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

new radio characteristics
New Radio Characteristics
  • Powerful survey capacity
  • Orders of magnitude in sensitivity increase
  • Rapid slewing
  • All sky view
  • Re-play mode
  • High time resolution
  • Increased frequency domain

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

radio survey speed
Radio Survey Speed

SKA

ATA-350+

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

optical
Optical
  • KAIT
  • PAIRITEL
  • ROTSE III
  • Raptor
  • Pan Starrs
  • LSST
  • Kepler

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

robotic telescopes
Robotic Telescopes
  • Robotic follow-up telescopes
    • KAIT, PAIRITEL, ROTSE
    • Follow-up on time scale
  • Wide field of view search telescopes
    • Raptor (>1000 sq deg FOV)

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

monster survey telescopes
Monster Survey Telescopes
  • SDSS
  • Pan Starrs
  • LSST

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

high energy
High Energy
  • Swift
  • GLAST

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

new high energy capabilities
New High Energy Capabilities
  • Rapid, accurate localization
    • 1 deg  <1 arcmin
  • Much greater sensitivity
    • 50 times sensitivity of EGRET

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

particle gravity wave telescopes
Particle & Gravity Wave Telescopes
  • LIGO-II
  • LISA
  • Auger
  • IceCube

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

issues in transient discovery
Issues in Transient Discovery
  • How to find transients
    • Telescope/wavelength specific search strategies
    • What is the optimal telescope for transient discovery?
    • What is the optimal search strategy?
    • Matched filter analysis
    • How does discovery change in the era of the VO?
    • Dealing with volume of data (10 PB/year for LSST)
  • How to identify/classify transients
    • Multi-wavelength coordination
    • Decision making strategies
  • What response should be made
    • Machine-to-machine communication
    • Number of transients will be large
    • Is it useful to me?

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

example of flare star asteroid optical flash confusion
Example of Flare Star/Asteroid/Optical Flash Confusion
  • Flare stars and asteroids dominate the foreground in the optical
  • Rejection of foregrounds by motion, optical color, spectral feature, multiwavelength behavior, catalog identification, parallax
  • LSST will catalog all s.s. objects > 200 m

Vestrand et al

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

course overview
Course Overview

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007

course details
Course Details
  • New time
    • TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • Office hours
    • 621 Campbell
  • No exams
  • Reading (see syllabus)
  • Student presentations
  • http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gbower/TU_S07

The Transient Universe: AY 250 Spring 2007