High angular resolution cosmic microwave background experiments provide a unique opportunity to conduct a survey of time-variable sources at millimeter wavelengths, a population that has primarily been understood through follow-up measurements of detections in other bands. Here we report the first results of an astronomical transient survey with the South Pole Telescope (SPT) using the SPT-3G camera to observe 1500 deg2 of the southern sky. The observations took place from 2020 March to November in three bands centered at 95, 150, and 220 GHz. This survey yielded the detection of 15 transient events from sources not previously detected by the SPT. The majority are associated with variable stars of different types, expanding the number of such detected flares by more than a factor of two. The stellar flares are unpolarized and bright, in some cases exceeding 1 Jy, and have durations from a few minutes to several hours. Another population of detected events last for 2-3 weeks and appear to be extragalactic in origin. Though data availability at other wavelengths is limited, we find evidence for concurrent optical activity for two of the stellar flares. Future data from SPT-3G and forthcoming instruments will provide real-time detection of millimeter-wave transients on timescales of minutes to months.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science