Our universe can be a violent and rapidly changing place. Exploding stellar giants, accreting supermassive black holes, rapidly rotating superdense neutron stars, can all release enormous energies into their surrounding environments on very short timescales, acting as cosmic thermostats, keeping the enviroment in an active state, triggering star formation and regulating the growth of galaxies. In nearly all cases, such events and phenomena have associated radio emission, so by observing in the radio band we can understand where and how often such events occur, and gauge their combined impact on the ambient environment.
The LOFAR Transients Key Science Project (KSP) focusses on exploring and understanding the explosive and dynamic universe by observing transient and variable radio sources. Thanks to the enormous field of view and multiple beams of LOFAR, for the first time we will be able to monitor a large fraction of the sky on a regular basis, allowing us to make an accurate census of such sources. We plan to sweep the sky on an almost daily basis, discovering new phenomena and informing the world of new cosmic events which should be followed up by other facilities.
More information: http://www.astron.nl/general/lofar/transients-ksp/transients-ksp.