Searching for Explosive or Eruptive Variables in the SkyMapper Transient Survey

The SkyMapper Transient (SMT) Survey is a currently searching and studying supernovae and other transient sources in southern sky. It is capable of surveying ~2000 square degrees of sky (an area 10,000 times larger than the full Moon) every 5 days. This time-series data allows us to find many different types of variable stars, or transient events lasting from minutes to hours. The student on this project will work with images from the SkyMapper telescope and data extracted from them (e.g. light curves ) to search for short-term, large-amplitude variable phenomena (e.g., nova-like stars or flaring K-M dwarfs) whose nature remains to be determined in terms of frequency and energy. The student will develop an algorithm for finding short-term, large-amplitude events from the light curves. This algorithm will be used on the SkyMapper Transient Survey data, a large astronomical database, to study the characteristics of different types of transients. There is a possibility of cross matching these sources with sources from radio telescopes.

For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.