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Some extragalactic supernovae, such as SN 1986J in NGC 891 (Rupen et al. 1987), are unusually strong radio sources. Their radio emission typically peaks a few years after the supernova explodes, and appears to arise from the interaction of the supernova shock with a dense stellar wind shed by the progenitor star. Since two radio-loud and possibly optically faint supernovae have recently been found serendipitously in nearby spiral galaxies, it is possible that such objects are common. If so, this would have important consequences for our understanding of both the chemical enrichment history of galaxies and the radio emission from starburst galaxies. Preliminary results from a survey of nearby spiral galaxies with the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) allow us to make a first estimate of the radio supernova rate. A larger study now in progress will provide a much more sensitive measurement.
The Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey (SUMSS) is a radio continuum imaging survey of the southern sky at 843 MHz, with similar sensitivity and resolution to the northern NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS). We have combined radio data from SUMSS and NVSS with optical spectra from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey and 6dF Galaxy Survey to study the space distribution and properties of both AGN and star-forming galaxies in the local universe (redshift range 0 < z < 0.3). We also discuss new results on radio-source clustering in the more distant universe (z ∼ 1) and present the first results from a search for the most distant (z > 3) southern radio galaxies.
MOST 843 MHz flux densities are presented for the May 1996 outburst from GRO J1655—40. A deep radio image of the field reveals extended emission regions which may be associated with the radio jets. The optical spectrum during the 1994 outburst shows remarkable similarities to that of a Wolf-Rayet WN star.
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