NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0092

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0092


PI: Jeff Cooke, Swinburne University, jcooke@astro.swin.edu.au
Address: Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, PO Box 218, H29, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia

CoI: Christopher Flynn, Swinburne University
CoI: Michael Murphy, Swinburne University
CoI: Evan Keene, Swinburne University
CoI: Emily Petroff, Swinburne University
CoI: Manisha Caleb, Australian National University

Title: Deeper, wider, faster: Optical counterparts to the fastest bursts in the sky

Abstract: Observations probing short timescales have turned up new phenomena such as the recently discovered fast radio bursts (radio bursts on millisecond timescale) that are likely extragalactic in origin but whose physical mechanisms are currently unknown. Fast (hours-to-minutes) optical time sampling has found new classes of novae and counterparts to (gamma)-ray bursts that would otherwise be classified as `optically dark', and is capable of detecting supernova UV shock breakouts, kilonovae, and other rapid transients produced by very different physical mechanisms. Although essentially all of the apparent magnitude vs. duration time space observed to date is populated by transient events, much remains unexplored. Previous efforts examining the fast time regime have been limited to the detection of the brightest events. We propose to capitalize on DECam's unique combination of wide field, high sensitivity, and quick readout time to search for rapid transients on the minutes-to-seconds timescale down to m ~25 for the first time. The observations will be based on optical counterpart expectations for fast radio bursts, and other rapid events, and will be coordinated with radio observations at the Parkes and Molonglo observatories.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0092

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