Many transient and variable sources detected at multiple wavelengths are also observed to vary at radio frequencies. However, these samples are typically biased towards sources that are initially detected in wide-field optical, X-ray, or gamma-ray surveys. Many sources that are insufficiently bright at higher frequencies are therefore missed, leading to potential gaps in our knowledge of these sources and missing populations that are not detectable in optical, X-rays, or gamma-rays. Taking advantage of new state-of-the-art radio facilities that provide high-quality wide-field images with fast survey speeds, we can now conduct unbiased surveys for transient and variable sources at radio frequencies. In this paper, we present an unbiased survey using observations obtained by MeerKAT, a mid-frequency (∼GHz) radio array in South Africa’s Karoo Desert. The observations used were obtained as part of a weekly monitoring campaign for X-ray binaries (XRBs) and we focus on the field of MAXI J1820+070. We develop methods to efficiently filter transient and variable candidates that can be directly applied to other data sets. In addition to MAXI J1820+070, we identify four likely active galactic nuclei, one source that could be a Galactic source (pulsar or quiescent XRB) or an AGN, and one variable pulsar. Nomore »
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Search and identification of transient and variable radio sources using MeerKAT observations: a case study on the MAXI J1820+070 field
Radio light curves and imaging of the helium nova V445 Puppis reveal seven years of synchrotron emissionABSTRACT V445 Puppis is the only helium nova observed to date; its eruption in late 2000 showed high velocities up to 8500 km s−1, and a remarkable bipolar morphology cinched by an equatorial dust disc. Here we present multifrequency radio observations of V445 Pup obtained with the Very Large Array (VLA) spanning 1.5–43.3 GHz, and between 2001 January and 2008 March (days ∼89–2700 after eruption). The radio light curve is dominated by synchrotron emission over these 7 yr, and shows four distinct radio flares. Resolved radio images obtained in the VLA’s A configuration show that the synchrotron emission hugs the equatorial disc, and comparisons to near-IR images of the nova clearly demonstrate that it is the densest ejecta – not the fastest ejecta – that are the sites of the synchrotron emission in V445 Pup. The data are consistent with a model where the synchrotron emission is produced by a wind from the white dwarf impacting the dense equatorial disc, resulting in shocks and particle acceleration. The individual synchrotron flares may be associated with density enhancements in the equatorial disc and/or velocity variations in the wind from the white dwarf. This overall scenario is similar to a common picture of shock production in hydrogen-rich classical novae,more »
Aims. We present the results of three commissioning H I observations obtained with the MeerKAT radio telescope. These observations make up part of the preparation for the forthcoming MHONGOOSE nearby galaxy survey, which is a MeerKAT large survey project that will study the accretion of gas in galaxies and the link between gas and star formation. Methods. We used the available H I data sets, along with ancillary data at other wavelengths, to study the morphology of the MHONGOOSE sample galaxy, ESO 302-G014, which is a nearby gas-rich dwarf galaxy. Results. We find that ESO 302-G014 has a lopsided, asymmetric outer disc with a low column density. In addition, we find a tail or filament of H I clouds extending away from the galaxy, as well as an isolated H I cloud some 20 kpc to the south of the galaxy. We suggest that these features indicate a minor interaction with a low-mass galaxy. Optical imaging shows a possible dwarf galaxy near the tail, but based on the current data, we cannot confirm any association with ESO 302-G014. Nonetheless, an interaction scenario with some kind of low-mass companion is still supported by the presence of a significant amount of molecularmore »