Symposium S14  4 – 5 July 2016

New Classes and Unique Events in Time Domain Astronomy

Aims and scope

Modern time-domain optical surveys are discovering new types of stellar explosions and disruptions that defy the traditional supernova (SN) classes: Superluminous SNe (SLSNe) are very luminous explosions that, despite concentrated effort, remain mostly unexplained; Rapidly evolving SNe pose serious challenges to traditional models; A newly discovered class of tidal disruption events (TDEs) has sparked a flurry of theoretical work to try and explain the observed properties.

Intriguing transients have been found also at other wavelengths: Ultra-long Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) have been shown to constitute a separate class of outbursts than regular GRBs; In the radio, we still haven't been able to nail down the distance and energetics of the mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). Gravitational wave (GW) searches may soon lead to the first robust detections of neutron star mergers and their associated kilonova EM counterparts.

In this symposium we propose to focus on these new classes of transients. Questions that we wish to address are: What powers SLSNe and what are their progenitor systems? What are ultra-long GRBs and are they related to SLSNe? How can we explain the emission observed from TDEs and what does it tell us about black holes? What kinds of explosions produce fast transients, and how complete are we at detecting and explaining them? Are FRBs extragalactic or Galactic, and what are their counterparts at other wavelengths? How do individual peculiar events fit in the global picture? And, how can robotic telescopes help in the search for GW counterparts and in the exploration of new transients in general?

The SOC:
Giorgos Leloudas (WIS, DARK) (co-chair)
Iair Arcavi (UCSB, LCOGT) (co-chair)
Chris Copperwheat (Liverpool)
Sarah Burke-Spolaor (NRAO)
Avishay Gal-Yam (WIS)
Dan Kasen (UC Berkeley)
Chryssa Kouveliotou (GWU)
Elena Pian (INAF)
Stephen Smartt (Belfast)
Jesper Sollerman (Stockholm)


  • Superluminous Supernovae
  • Rapidly Evolving Supernovae
  • Tidal Disruption Events
  • Ultra-long and Other Peculiar Gamma Ray Bursts
  • Fast Radio Bursts
  • Unique and Peculiar Transients
  • The Role of Robotic Facilities in GW Followup and in Time-Domain Astronomy in General

Invited speakers

  • Marica Branchesi (University of Urbino)
  • Cosimo Inserra (Queens University Belfast)
  • Evan Keane (SKA)
  • Andrew Levan (University of Warwick)
  • Sterl Phinney (Caltech)
  • Stefano Valenti (UC Davis)

Scientific organisers
Giorgos Leloudas, Weizmann Institute of Science & Dark Cosmology Centre
Iair Arcavi, LCOGT & UC Santa Barbara
Chris Copperwheat, Liverpool John Moores University

giorgos @, arcavi @

Updated on Wed Jan 20 16:40:29 CET 2016