The Golden Age of Extra-Galactic Optical Transient Surveys

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A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Dr Mike Childress (Southampton);
Dr Kate Maguire (Belfast); Prof Bob Nichol (Portsmouth); *Prof Mark Sullivan (Southampton)*Contact: We are entering a golden-age in the study of optical transients. Many surveys with leading UK involvement are reaching maturity in both the imaging and spectroscopic domains. These have provided rich datasets for cosmological studies (e.g., with type Ia supernovae), and diverse datasets with which to explore the extragalactic transient universe, revealing unexpected types of cosmic explosions and transient events (e.g., superluminous supernovae, tidal disruption events). Progress in the next few years may see the first optical/IR counterparts of both gravitational wave sources and fast radio bursts. Simultaneously, these data are inspiring new state-of-the art theoretical models to uncover the detailed physics. With new time-domain surveys and instruments/facilities on the horizon such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Zwicky Transient Factory (ZTF), this meeting will review the current status of optical transient science and look to the future of what may be revealed by the next generation of cutting-edge facilities. We welcome contributions on all aspects of extragalactic optical transients, observational and theoretical, both science-focussed and forward-looking to new facilities.