The millimeter transient sky is largely unexplored, with measurements limited to follow-up of objects detected at other wavelengths. High-angular-resolution telescopes, designed for measurement of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), offer the possibility to discover new, unknown transient sources in this band - particularly the afterglows of unobserved gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Here, we use the 10 m millimeter-wave South Pole Telescope, designed for the primary purpose of observing the CMB at arcminute and larger angular scales, to conduct a search for such objects. During the 2012-2013 season, the telescope was used to continuously observe a 100 deg2 patch of sky centered at R.A. 23h30m and decl. -55° using the polarization-sensitive SPTpol camera in two bands centered at 95 and 150 GHz. These 6000 hr of observations provided continuous monitoring for day- to month-scale millimeter-wave transient sources at the 10 mJy level. One candidate object was observed with properties broadly consistent with a GRB afterglow, but at a statistical significance too low (p = 0.01) to confirm detection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The South Pole Telescope program is supported by the National Science Foundation through grant PLR-1248097. Partial support is also provided by the NSF Physics Frontier Center grant PHY-0114422 to the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, the Kavli Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF#947 to the University of Chicago for the construction of SPTpol. The McGill authors acknowledge funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. J.W.H. is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. AST-1402161. B.B. is supported by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. De-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy.
© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
- gamma-ray burst: general