Radio variability in the phoenix deep survey at 1.4 GHz
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© 2016 The Authors. We use archival data from the Phoenix Deep Survey to investigate the variable radio source population above 1 mJy beam-1 at 1.4 GHz. Given the similarity of this survey to other such surveys we take the opportunity to investigate the conflicting results which have appeared in the literature. Two previous surveys for variability conducted with the Very Large Array (VLA) achieved a sensitivity of 1 mJy beam-1 . However, one survey found an areal density of radio variables on time-scales of decades that is a factor of ~4 times greater than a second survey which was conducted on time-scales of less than a few years. In the Phoenix deep field we measure the density of variable radio sources to be ? = 0.98 deg-2 on time-scales of 6 months to 8 yr. We make use of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared cross-ids, and identify all variable sources as an active galactic nucleus of some description.We suggest that the discrepancy between previous VLA results is due to the different time-scales probed by each of the surveys, and that radio variability at 1.4 GHz is greatest on time-scales of 2-5 yr.
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