A fast radio burst localized to a massive galaxy
Intense, millisecond-duration bursts of radio waves (named fast radio bursts) have been detected from beyond the Milky Way. Their dispersion measures—which are greater than would be expected if they had propagated only through the interstellar medium of the Milky Way—indicate extragalactic origins, and imply contributions from the intergalactic medium and perhaps from other galaxies. Although several theories exist regarding the sources of these fast radio bursts, their intensities, durations and temporal structures suggest coherent emission from highly magnetized plasma. Two of these bursts have been observed to repeat, and one repeater (FRB 121102) has been localized to the largest star-forming region of a dwarf galaxy at a cosmological redshift of 0.19. However, the host galaxies and distances of the hitherto non-repeating fast radio bursts are yet to be identified. Unlike repeating sources, these events must be observed with an interferometer that has sufficient spatial resolution for arcsecond localization at the time of discovery. Here we report the localization of a fast radio burst (FRB 190523) to a few-arcsecond region containing a single massive galaxy at a redshift of 0.66. This galaxy is different from the host of FRB 121102, as it is a thousand times more massive, with a specific more »
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NSF-PAR ID:
10107541
Journal Name:
Nature
ISSN:
0028-0836
The physical properties of fast radio burst (FRB) host galaxies provide important clues towards the nature of FRB sources. The 16 FRB hosts identified thus far span three orders of magnitude in mass and specific star formation rate, implicating a ubiquitously occurring progenitor object. FRBs localized with ∼arcsecond accuracy also enable effective searches for associated multiwavelength and multi-time-scale counterparts, such as the persistent radio source associated with FRB 20121102A. Here we present a localization of the repeating source FRB 20201124A, and its association with a host galaxy (SDSS J050803.48+260338.0, z = 0.098) and persistent radio source. The galaxy is massive (${\sim}3\times 10^{10}\, \text{M}_{\odot }$), star-forming (few solar masses per year), and dusty. Very Large Array and Very Long Baseline Array observations of the persistent radio source measure a luminosity of 1.2 × 1029 erg s−1 Hz−1, and show that is extended on scales ≳50 mas. We associate this radio emission with the ongoing star formation activity in SDSS J050803.48+260338.0. Deeper, high-resolution optical observations are required to better utilize the milliarcsecond-scale localization of FRB 20201124A and determine the origin of the large dispersion measure (150–220 pc cm−3) contributed by the host. SDSS J050803.48+260338.0 is an order of magnitude more massive than any galaxy or stellar system previously associated with a repeating FRB source, butmore »