In order to discern the physical nature of many gamma-ray sources in the sky, we must look not only in spectral and spatial dimensions, but also understand their temporal variability. However, timing analysis of sources with a highly transient nature, such as magnetar bursts, is difficult: standard Fourier techniques developed for long-term variability generally observed, for example, from AGN often do not apply.
Here, we present newly developed timing methods applicable to transient events of all kinds, and show their successful application to magnetar bursts observed with Fermi GBM. Magnetars are a prime subject for timing studies, thanks to the detection of quasi-periodicities in magnetar Giant Flares and their potential to help shed light on the structure of neutron stars.
Using state-of-the art statistical techniques, we search for quasi-periodicities (QPOs) in a sample of bursts observed with Fermi GBM and provide upper limits for potential QPO detections. Additionally, for the first time, we characterise the broadband variability behaviour of magnetar bursts and highlight how this new information could provide us with another way to probe these mysterious objects.