Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research
Shane L. Larson
Multi-messenger astronomy employs both electromagnetic and gravitational -wave detectors to paint a richer picture of celestial objects, providing more depth and information. The interferometers utilized for gravitational-wave observations receive input from very broad ﬁelds of view on the sky, typically a few square degrees. To have simultaneous electromagnetic observations (typically less than one square degree) requires innovative techniques for the telescopes to ﬁnd the origin of radiation. One idea is to “tile” the view of the interferometer, using multiple telescopes to simultaneously point at diﬀerent areas of the ﬁeld to observe the source. One di"culty of this observing paradigm is distinguishing random electromagnetic variable sources from a gravitational-wave counterpart. To better understand this problem, this project repeatedly observes a single ﬁeld on the sky. Each observation is analyzed to count the number of sources that appear in the ﬁeld as a function of brightness. Repeating this process over time will yield the frequency of random optical transients, as well as characterize the population and brightness distribution of variables in the ﬁeld. Future work will extend this observation campaign to cover diﬀerent galactic latitudes.
Nydegger, R. (2013, February 22). Characterizing sky variability for multi-messenter astronomy. Presented at the 7th Annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, Utah State University, Logan UT.