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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present the results of a radio transient and polarization survey towards the Galactic Centre, conducted as part of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Variables and Slow Transients pilot survey. The survey region consisted of five fields covering $\sim 265\, {\rm deg}^2$ (350○ ≲ l ≲ 10○, |b| ≲ 10○). Each field was observed for 12 min, with between 7 and 9 repeats on cadences of between one day and four months. We detected eight highly variable sources and seven highly circularly polarized sources (14 unique sources in total). Seven of these sources are known pulsars including the rotating radio transient PSR J1739–2521 and the eclipsing pulsar PSR J1723–2837. One of them is a low-mass X-ray binary, 4U 1758–25. Three of them are coincident with optical or infrared sources and are likely to be stars. The remaining three may be related to the class of Galactic Centre Radio Transients (including a highly likely one, VAST J173608.2–321634, that has been reported previously), although this class is not yet understood. In the coming years, we expect to detect ∼40 bursts from this kind of source with the proposed 4-yr VAST survey if the distribution of the source is isotropic over the Galactic fields.

  2. Abstract Although it is well established that some extragalactic radio sources are time-variable, the properties of this radio variability, and its connection with host galaxy properties, remain to be explored—particularly for faint sources. Here we present an analysis of radio variable sources from the CHILES Variable and Explosive Radio Dynamic Evolution Survey (CHILES VERDES)—a partner project of the 1.4 GHz COSMOS H i Large Extragalactic Survey. CHILES VERDES provides an unprecedented combination of survey depth, duration, and cadence, with 960 hr of 1–2 GHz continuum VLA data obtained over 209 epochs between 2013 and 2019 in a 0.44 deg 2 section of the well-studied extragalactic deep field, COSMOS. We identified 18 moderate-variability sources (showing 10%–30% flux density variation) and 40 lower-variability sources (2%–10% flux density variation). They are mainly active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with radio luminosities in the range of 10 22 –10 27 W Hz −1 , based on cross-matching with COSMOS multiwavelength catalogs. The moderate-variability sources span redshifts z = 0.22–1.56, have mostly flat radio spectra ( α > −0.5), and vary on timescales ranging from days to years. The lower-variability sources have similar properties, but generally have higher radio luminosities than the moderate-variability sources, extending to zmore »= 2.8, and have steeper radio spectra ( α < −0.5). No star-forming galaxy showed statistically significant variability in our analysis. The observed variability likely originates from scintillation on short (∼week) timescales, and Doppler-boosted intrinsic AGN variability on long (month–year) timescales.« less
  3. Abstract We report the discovery of a highly circularly polarized, variable, steep-spectrum pulsar in the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) survey. The pulsar is located about 1° from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and has a significant fractional circular polarization of ∼20%. We discovered pulsations with a period of 322.5 ms, dispersion measure (DM) of 157.5 pc cm −3 , and rotation measure (RM) of +456 rad m −2 using observations from the MeerKAT and the Parkes telescopes. This DM firmly places the source, PSR J0523−7125, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This RM is extreme compared to other pulsars in the LMC (more than twice that of the largest previously reported one). The average flux density of ∼1 mJy at 1400 MHz and ∼25 mJy at 400 MHz places it among the most luminous radio pulsars known. It likely evaded previous discovery because of its very steep radio spectrum (spectral index α ≈ −3, where S ν ∝ ν α ) and broad pulse profile (duty cycle ≳35%). We discuss implications for searches for unusual radio sources in continuum images, as well as extragalactic pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds and beyond.more »Our result highlighted the possibility of identifying pulsars, especially extreme pulsars, from radio continuum images. Future large-scale radio surveys will give us an unprecedented opportunity to discover more pulsars and potentially the most distant pulsars beyond the Magellanic Clouds.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT We present a search for radio afterglows from long gamma-ray bursts using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). Our search used the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey, covering the entire celestial sphere south of declination +41○, and three epochs of the Variables and Slow Transients Pilot Survey (Phase 1), covering ∼5000 square degrees per epoch. The observations we used from these surveys spanned a nine-month period from 2019 April 21 to 2020 January 11. We cross-matched radio sources found in these surveys with 779 well-localized (to ≤15 arcsec) long gamma-ray bursts occurring after 2004 and determined whether the associations were more likely afterglow- or host-related through the analysis of optical images. In our search, we detected one radio afterglow candidate associated with GRB 171205A, a local low-luminosity gamma-ray burst with a supernova counterpart SN 2017iuk, in an ASKAP observation 511 d post-burst. We confirmed this detection with further observations of the radio afterglow using the Australia Telescope Compact Array at 859 and 884 d post-burst. Combining this data with archival data from early-time radio observations, we showed the evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution alone could reveal clear signatures of a wind-like circumburst medium for the burst. Finally, we derived semi-analytical estimatesmore »for the microphysical shock parameters of the burst: electron power-law index p = 2.84, normalized wind-density parameter A* = 3, fractional energy in electrons ϵe = 0.3, and fractional energy in magnetic fields ϵB = 0.0002.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present results from a circular polarization survey for radio stars in the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS). RACS is a survey of the entire sky south of δ = +41○ being conducted with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP) over a 288 MHz wide band centred on 887.5 MHz. The data we analyse include Stokes I and V polarization products to an RMS sensitivity of 250 μJy PSF−1. We searched RACS for sources with fractional circular polarization above 6 per cent, and after excluding imaging artefacts, polarization leakage, and known pulsars we identified radio emission coincident with 33 known stars. These range from M-dwarfs through to magnetic, chemically peculiar A- and B-type stars. Some of these are well-known radio stars such as YZ CMi and CU Vir, but 23 have no previous radio detections. We report the flux density and derived brightness temperature of these detections and discuss the nature of the radio emission. We also discuss the implications of our results for the population statistics of radio stars in the context of future ASKAP and Square Kilometre Array surveys.
  6. We present 42 rapidly evolving (time spent above half-maximum brightness t1/2<12d) extragalactic transients from Phase I of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), of which 22 have spectroscopic classifications. This is one of the largest systematically selected samples of day-timescale transients, and the first with spectroscopic classifications. Most can be classified as core-collapse supernovae (SNe), and we identify several predominant subtypes: (1) subluminous Type IIb or Type Ib SNe; (2) luminous Type Ibn or hybrid IIn/Ibn SNe; and (3) radio-loud, short-duration luminous events similar to AT2018cow. We conclude that rates quoted in the literature for rapidly evolving extragalactic transients are dominated by the subluminous events (mostly Type IIb SNe). From our spectroscopic classifications and radio, X-ray, and millimeter-band upper limits, we are motivated to consider the AT2018cow-like objects a distinct class, and use ZTF's systematic classification experiments to calculate that their rate does not exceed 0.1% of the local core-collapse SN rate, in agreement with previous work. By contrast, most other events are simply the extreme of a continuum of established SN types extending to ordinary timescales. The light curves of our objects are very similar to those of unclassified events in the literature, illustrating how spectroscopically classified samples of low-redshiftmore »objects in shallow surveys like ZTF can be used to photometrically classify larger numbers of events at higher redshift.« less
  7. ABSTRACT Active M dwarfs are known to produce bursty radio emission, and multiwavelength studies have shown that solar-like magnetic activity occurs in these stars. However, coherent bursts from active M dwarfs have often been difficult to interpret in the solar activity paradigm. We present Australian Square Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) observations of UV Ceti at a central frequency of 888 MHz. We detect several periodic, coherent pulses occurring over a time-scale consistent with the rotational period of UV Ceti. The properties of the pulsed emission show that they originate from the electron cyclotron maser instability, in a cavity at least 7 orders of magnitude less dense than the mean coronal density at the estimated source altitude. These results confirm that auroral activity can occur in active M dwarfs, suggesting that these stars mark the beginning of the transition from solar-like to auroral magnetospheric behaviour. These results demonstrate the capabilities of ASKAP for detecting polarized, coherent bursts from active stars and other systems.
  8. Abstract The Variables and Slow Transients Survey (VAST) on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is designed to detect highly variable and transient radio sources on timescales from 5 s to $\sim\!5$ yr. In this paper, we present the survey description, observation strategy and initial results from the VAST Phase I Pilot Survey. This pilot survey consists of $\sim\!162$ h of observations conducted at a central frequency of 888 MHz between 2019 August and 2020 August, with a typical rms sensitivity of $0.24\ \mathrm{mJy\ beam}^{-1}$ and angular resolution of $12-20$ arcseconds. There are 113 fields, each of which was observed for 12 min integration time, with between 5 and 13 repeats, with cadences between 1 day and 8 months. The total area of the pilot survey footprint is 5 131 square degrees, covering six distinct regions of the sky. An initial search of two of these regions, totalling 1 646 square degrees, revealed 28 highly variable and/or transient sources. Seven of these are known pulsars, including the millisecond pulsar J2039–5617. Another seven are stars, four of which have no previously reported radio detection (SCR J0533–4257, LEHPM 2-783, UCAC3 89–412162 and 2MASS J22414436–6119311). Of the remaining 14 sources, two aremore »active galactic nuclei, six are associated with galaxies and the other six have no multi-wavelength counterparts and are yet to be identified.« less