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12th of October 2016
ATNF Colloquium
Deeper, Wider, Faster - Chasing the fastest transients in the Universe
by Jeff Cooke (Swinburne University)
Abstract. Transient phenomena, such as supernovae and novae have been found that evolve over timescales of a few days to hundreds of days and span a large range of luminosities. However, a large number of transients are predicted on shorter timescales, such as fast radio bursts (FRBs), supernova shock breakouts, bursty and dark GRBs, kilonovae, counterparts to gravitational waves, and other exotic events, with a few having been serendipitously observed. This time domain has remained essentially unexplored largely a result of technological barriers.

I will discuss our innovative Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) program that overcomes these obstacles by coordinating simultaneous deep, wide-field, fast-cadenced multi-wavelength observations with Parkes, Molonglo, the VLA, CTIO DECam, AST3 telescope (in the Antarctic), and NASA Swift space telescope, performs real-time (seconds) supercomputer data processing and analysis, and implements real-time transient identification using sophisticated visualisation technology. In addition, DWF obtains flash spectroscopy (minutes after transient identification) on the 8m Gemini telescope (and potentially Keck and the VLT) and deep spectroscopy on SALT and the AAT telescopes.

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