2012 APS 4-Corners Section Regional Meeting
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 in formation. Localizing sources with gravitational wave interferometers on the sky is difficult, with resolution of many square degrees. To have simultaneous electromagnetic observations (localized typically to 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 problematic aspect 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., Breivik, K., & Larson, S. (2012, October 26). Characterizing Sky Variability for Multi-Messenger Astronomy. Presented at the 2012 APS 4-Corners Section Regional Meeting, Socorro, NM. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/undergrad_research/15/