LOFAR MSSS: detection of a low-frequency radio transient in 400 h of monitoring of the North Celestial Pole

A. J. Stewart 1 R. P. Fender 2 J. W. Broderick 2 T. E. Hassall 3 T. Muñoz-Darias 4 A. Rowlinson 5 J. D. Swinbank 6 T. D. Staley 7 G. J. Molenaar 6 B. Scheers 6 T. L. Grobler 8 M. Pietka 9 G. Heald 5 J. P. Mckean 5 M. E. Bell 10 A. Bonafede 11 R. P. Breton 3 D. Carbone 12 Y. Cendes 6 A. O. Clarke 3 Stéphane Corbel 13, 14 F. De gasperin 15 J. Eislöffel 16 H. Falcke 17, 5 C. Ferrari 18 Jean-Mathias Grießmeier 14, 19 M. J. Hardcastle 20 V. Heesen 4 J. W. T. Hessels 12 A. Horneffer 21 M. Iacobelli 22 P. Jonker 23 A. Karastergiou 9 G. Kokotanekov 6 V. I. Kondratiev 5 M. Kuniyoshi 21 C. J. Law 6 J. Van leeuwen 5 S. Markoff 6 J. C. A. Miller-Jones 24 D. Mulcahy 3 E. Orru 5 M. Pandey-Pommier 25 L. Pratley 26 E. Rol 6 H. J. A. Röttgering 22 A. M. M. Scaife 4 A. Shulevski 27 C. A. Sobey 21 B. W. Stappers 3 C. Tasse 28, 29 A. J. Van der horst 30 S. Van velzen 17 R. J. Van weeren 31 R. A. M. J. Wijers 32 R. Wijnands 6 M. Wise 6, 5 P. Zarka 33 A. Alexov 5 J. Anderson 34 A. Asgekar 5 I. M. Avruch 35 M. J. Bentum 5 G. Bernardi 36 P. Best 37 F. Breitling 38 M. Brüggen 11 H. R. Butcher 5 B. Ciardi 39 J. E. Conway 40 A. Corstanje 17 E. De geus 5 A. Deller 5 S. Duscha 5 W. Frieswijk 5 M. A. Garrett 22, 5 A. W. Gunst 5 M. P. Van haarlem 5 M. Hoeft 16 J. Hörandel 17 E. Juette 41 G. Kuper 5 M. Loose 5 P. Maat 5 R. Mcfadden 42 D. Mckay-Bukowski 43 J. Moldon 44, 45 H. Munk 42 M. J. Norden 5 H. Paas 46 A. G. Polatidis 5 D. Schwarz 47 J. Sluman 5 O. Smirnov 48 M. Steinmetz 49 S. Thoudam 17 M. C. Toribio 50 R. Vermeulen 5 C. Vocks 51 S. J. Wijnholds 5 O. Wucknitz 52 S. Yatawatta 5
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Abstract : We present the results of a four-month campaign searching for low-frequency radio transients near the North Celestial Pole with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), as part of the Multifrequency Snapshot Sky Survey (MSSS). The data were recorded between 2011 December and 2012 April and comprised 2149 11-minute snapshots, each covering 175 deg^2. We have found one convincing candidate astrophysical transient, with a duration of a few minutes and a flux density at 60 MHz of 15-25 Jy. The transient does not repeat and has no obvious optical or high-energy counterpart, as a result of which its nature is unclear. The detection of this event implies a transient rate at 60 MHz of 3.9 (+14.7, -3.7) x 10^-4 day^-1 deg^-2, and a transient surface density of 1.5 x 10^-5 deg^-2, at a 7.9-Jy limiting flux density and ~10-minute time-scale. The campaign data were also searched for transients at a range of other time-scales, from 0.5 to 297 min, which allowed us to place a range of limits on transient rates at 60 MHz as a function of observation duration.
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A. J. Stewart, R. P. Fender, J. W. Broderick, T. E. Hassall, T. Muñoz-Darias, et al.. LOFAR MSSS: detection of a low-frequency radio transient in 400 h of monitoring of the North Celestial Pole. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2016, 456 (3), pp.2321-2342. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stv2797⟩. ⟨insu-01321898⟩

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