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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
12:30-13:00 Fri 30 Jan 2009

ATNF Basement Meeting Room

Sarah Burke Spolaor

(Swinburne University of Technology)

Galaxy Lunch Sarah Burke Spolaor: Extragalactic Lorimer Bursts: Exciting RFI or Exciting Astrophysics?

Lorimer et al. (2007) reported the detection of a highly dispersed, 5 millisecond burst of radio emission from an unidentified extragalactic source in data taken with the Parkes radio telescope. The classification and further detection of this type of event may open the possibility for new advances in cosmology, relativistic astrophysics, or signposts for coalescing black holes and neutron stars, among other areas. However, further detections of one-off transient bursts in Parkes data have brought the so-called "Lorimer Burst" into question: the new signals ambiguously display properties both RFI-like and astrophysical, fitting the mould of no astrophysical or manmade object known to us. This talk will be an informal presentation of the properties and peculiarities of these events and the analysis going into their identification. Engineers and astrophysicists alike are invited, discussion after the talk is welcome.

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