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In 4 October 1842, Richard Mant, the Church of Ireland bishop of Down and Connor, presided over the first meeting of the Down and Connor Church Architecture Society in the Clerical Rooms in central Belfast. The scholarly Mant doubtless was in his element as he introduced this initiative dedicated to promoting discussion about historical and contemporary aspects of Anglican church architecture. The Ulster Times, the city’s self-proclaimed newspaper of the Church of Ireland, welcomed the new society, arguing that it was good to have ‘correct views’ on these matters and hoping that features like arched roofs, Gothic windows and lengthened aisles could be maintained so that Anglican churches could be distinguished from their Dissenting counterparts.
Analysis of data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite's All Sky Monitor (ASM) instrument for several X-ray binary sources has identified a recurrent ∼24 h period. This period is sometimes highly significant, giving rise to the possibility of it being identified as an orbital or super-orbital period. Further analysis has revealed the same period in a number of other X-ray sources. As a result this period has been discounted as spurious, described variously as arising from daily variations in background levels, the scheduling of ASM observations and beating between the sampling period and long-term secular trends in the light curves. We present here an analysis of the spurious periods and show that the dominant mechanism is in fact spectral leakage of low-frequency power present in the light curves.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.