Looking at the sky with radio telescopes provides a unique insight into a range of exciting and exotic phenomena. From stellar flares on nearby stars to exploding supernovae in a different galaxy, radio transients can be as varied as they are interesting.
We use the term radio transient as a catch-all for everything that might be interesting and varying in the radio sky, but here’s a sample of some of the interesting radio transients we know about:
- Black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs in binaries shooting out long columns of hot particles that we see as jets
- Stellar flares from nearby stars that are crucial for our understanding of planet habitability and the processes on and inside stars
- Supernovae and their remnants can glow in the radio and help us understand the complex physics behind these cosmic explosions
- Colliding neutron stars can produce small-scale supernovae called kilonovae which are detectable with the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors.
- Mysterious, bright, fast radio bursts (see the original Bursts from Space project for more on these)
- Distant galaxies and their active centres which give us clues as to formation and growth of supermassive black holes, as well as the effects of intergalactic dust on radio waves.
Last Updated on August 24, 2023