The 4 Pi Sky group hit Portsmouth for the 2014 National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) . Rob Fender presented the Wednesday morning plenary talk on the Extreme Universe where he discussed the growing field of transient astronomy and how identifying these events could leads us to discover some of the most extreme astrophysical objects in our universe. In the photo below Fender is pointing at a picture of LOFAR, which is a key telescope in our search for transients and one of the processor facilities to the SKA.
Members of the 4 Pi Sky team featured in both the “Jets in Astrophysics” and “Bumps, Burps and Bangs” parallel sessions where they presented talks and posters of our latest results.
Anthony Rushton presented his results in the “Jets in Astrophysics” session where he discussed the relativistic jet production in the nearby universe. Jess Broderick showed us highlights from the LOFAR monitoring of the X-ray binaries SS433 and GRS1915+105. During this talk the UK community was able to have a sneak peak at the deep radio maps of these regions in the Galactic plane that LOFAR is capable of obtaining.
Gemma Anderson presented a talk in the “Bumps, Burps and Bangs”, which was a session dedicated to transient and time domain astronomy in the UK. Anderson discussed the robotic radio follow-up of GRBs we have been conducting with the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI), which appropriately followed a talk on the highlights of robotic optical follow-up of GRB with the Liverpool Telescope. This AMI dedicated talk focused on our exciting detection of the reverse shock radio emission from GRB 130427A and some of our initial results of the overall AMI GRB catalogue. Adam Stewart’s poster showed the results surrounding the first detection of a short duration radio transient candidate with LOFAR. The transient was detected at the Northern Celestial Pole. Aidan Glennie’s poster discussed his discovery of fast X-ray transients in Chandra data archive.
The 4 Pi Sky group also enjoyed a delicious conference dinner aboard the HMS Warrior, one of the Heritage Ships is the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards.