Since the discovery of the first fast radio burst (FRB) in 2007, and their confirmation as an abundant extragalactic population in 2013, the study of these sources has expanded at an incredible rate. In our 2019 review on the subject, we presented a growing, but still mysterious, population of FRBs—60 unique sources, 2 repeating FRBs, and only 1 identified host galaxy. However, in only a few short years, new observations and discoveries have given us a wealth of information about these sources. The total FRB population now stands at over 600 published sources, 24 repeaters, and 19 host galaxies. Higher time resolution data, sustained monitoring, and precision localisations have given us insight into repeaters, host galaxies, burst morphology, source activity, progenitor models, and the use of FRBs as cosmological probes. The recent detection of a bright FRB-like burst from the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935 + 2154 provides an important link between FRBs and magnetars. There also continue to be surprising discoveries, like periodic modulation of activity from repeaters and the localisation of one FRB source to a relatively nearby globular cluster associated with the M81 galaxy. In this review, we summarise the exciting observational results from the past few years.more »
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 417 to 465
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Radio wave scattering can cause severe reductions in detection sensitivity for surveys of Galactic and extragalactic fast (∼ms duration) transients. While Galactic sources like pulsars undergo scattering in the Milky Way interstellar medium (ISM), extragalactic fast radio bursts (FRBs) can also experience scattering in their host galaxies and other galaxies intervening in their lines of sight. We assess Galactic and extragalactic scattering horizons for fast radio transients using a combination of NE2001 to model the dispersion measure and scattering time (
τ) contributed by the Galactic disk, and independently constructed electron density models for the Galactic halo and other galaxies’ ISMs and halos that account for different galaxy morphologies, masses, densities, and strengths of turbulence. For source redshifts 0.5 ≤ zs≤ 1, an all-sky, isotropic FRB population has simulated values of τ(1 GHz) ranging from ∼1 μs to ∼2 ms (90% confidence, observer frame) that are dominated by host galaxies, although τcan be ≫2 ms at low Galactic latitudes. A population at zs= 5 has 0.01 ≲ τ≲ 300 ms at 1 GHz (90% confidence), dominated by intervening galaxies. About 20% of these high-redshift FRBs are predicted to have τ> 5 ms at 1 GHz (observer frame), and ≳40% of FRBs between zs∼ 0.5–5 have τ≳ 1 ms for ν≤more »
The dispersive sweep of fast radio bursts (FRBs) has been used to probe the ionized baryon content of the intergalactic medium, which is assumed to dominate the total extragalactic dispersion. While the host galaxy contributions to dispersion measure (DM) appear to be small for most FRBs, in at least one case there is evidence for an extreme magneto-ionic local environment and a compact persistent radio source. Here we report the detection and localization of the repeating FRB 20190520B, which is co-located with a compact, persistent radio source and associated with a dwarf host galaxy of high specific star formation rate at a redshift z=0.241±0.001. The estimated host galaxy DM~≈903+72−111~pc~cm−3, nearly an order of magnitude higher than the average of FRB host galaxies, far exceeds the DM contribution of the intergalactic medium. Caution is thus warranted in inferring redshifts for FRBs without accurate host galaxy identifications. The dense FRB environment and the association with a compact persistent radio source may point to a distinctive origin or an earlier evolutionary stage for this FRB source.
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 specificmore »
ABSTRACT The analogy of the host galaxy of the repeating fast radio burst (FRB) source FRB 121102 and those of long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) has led to the suggestion that young magnetars born in GRBs and SLSNe could be the central engine of repeating FRBs. We test such a hypothesis by performing dedicated observations of the remnants of six GRBs with evidence of having a magnetar central engine using the Arecibo telescope and the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). A total of ∼20 h of observations of these sources did not detect any FRB from these remnants. Under the assumptions that all these GRBs left behind a long-lived magnetar and that the bursting rate of FRB 121102 is typical for a magnetar FRB engine, we estimate a non-detection probability of 8.9 × 10−6. Even though these non-detections cannot exclude the young magnetar model of FRBs, we place constraints on the burst rate and luminosity function of FRBs from these GRB targets.