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

A. J. Stewart, R. P. Fender, J. W. Broderick, T. E. Hassall, T. Muñoz-Darias, A. Rowlinson, J. D. Swinbank, T. D. Staley, G. J. Molenaar, B. Scheers, T. L. Grobler, M. Pietka (+90 others)
2015 Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society  
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
more » ... s 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.
doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2797 fatcat:f3horxzy7bgjxk7nym5uglbyk4