skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on November 17, 2022

Title: Search for fast radio transients using Arecibo drift-scan observations at 1.4 GHz
ABSTRACT We conducted a drift-scan observation campaign using the 305-m Arecibo telescope in 2020 January and March when the observatory was temporarily closed during the intense earthquakes and the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. The primary objective of the survey was to search for fast radio transients, including fast radio bursts (FRBs) and rotating radio transients (RRATs). We used the seven-beam ALFA receiver to observe different sections of the sky within the declination region ∼(10°–20°) on 23 nights and collected 160 h of data in total. We searched our data for single-pulse transients, of covering up to a maximum dispersion measure of 11 000 pc cm−3 at which the dispersion delay across the entire bandwidth is equal to the 13-s transit length of our observations. The analysis produced more than 18 million candidates. Machine learning techniques sorted the radio frequency interference and possibly astrophysical candidates, allowing us to visually inspect and confirm the candidate transients. We found no evidence for new astrophysical transients in our data. We also searched for emission from repeated transient signals, but found no evidence for such sources. We detected single pulses from two known pulsars in our observations and their measured flux densities are consistent with the more » expected values. Based on our observations and sensitivity, we estimated the upper limit for the FRB rate to be <2.8 × 105 sky−1 d−1 above a fluence of 0.16 Jy ms at 1.4 GHz, which is consistent with the rates from other telescopes and surveys. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2020265
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10321803
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
509
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In order to identify the sources of the observed diffuse high-energy neutrino flux, it is crucial to discover their electromagnetic counterparts. To increase the sensitivity of detecting counterparts of transient or variable sources by telescopes with a limited field of view, IceCube began releasing alerts for single high-energy ( E ν  >  60 TeV) neutrino detections with sky localisation regions of order 1° radius in 2016. We used Pan-STARRS1 to follow-up five of these alerts during 2016–2017 to search for any optical transients that may be related to the neutrinos. Typically 10–20 faint ( m i P1  ≲ 22.5 mag) extragalacticmore »transients are found within the Pan-STARRS1 footprints and are generally consistent with being unrelated field supernovae (SNe) and AGN. We looked for unusual properties of the detected transients, such as temporal coincidence of explosion epoch with the IceCube timestamp, or other peculiar light curve and physical properties. We found only one transient that had properties worthy of a specific follow-up. In the Pan-STARRS1 imaging for IceCube-160427A (probability to be of astrophysical origin of ∼50%), we found a SN PS16cgx, located at 10.0′ from the nominal IceCube direction. Spectroscopic observations of PS16cgx showed that it was an H-poor SN at redshift z  = 0.2895 ± 0.0001. The spectra and light curve resemble some high-energy Type Ic SNe, raising the possibility of a jet driven SN with an explosion epoch temporally coincident with the neutrino detection. However, distinguishing Type Ia and Type Ic SNe at this redshift is notoriously difficult. Based on all available data we conclude that the transient is more likely to be a Type Ia with relatively weak Si  II absorption and a fairly normal rest-frame r -band light curve. If, as predicted, there is no high-energy neutrino emission from Type Ia SNe, then PS16cgx must be a random coincidence, and unrelated to the IceCube-160427A. We find no other plausible optical transient for any of the five IceCube events observed down to a 5 σ limiting magnitude of m i P1  ≈ 22 mag, between 1 day and 25 days after detection.« less
  2. Abstract We present the discovery and timing of the young (age ∼28.6 kyr) pulsar PSR J0837–2454. Based on its high latitude ( b = 98) and dispersion measure (DM = 143 pc cm −3 ), the pulsar appears to be at a z -height of >1 kpc above the Galactic plane, but near the edge of our Galaxy. This is many times the observed scale height of the canonical pulsar population, which suggests this pulsar may have been born far out of the plane. If accurate, the young age and high z -height imply that this is the first pulsarmore »known to be born from a runaway O/B star. In follow-up imaging with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), we detect the pulsar with a flux density S 1400 = 0.18 ± 0.05 mJy. We do not detect an obvious supernova remnant around the pulsar in our ATCA data, but we detect a colocated, low-surface-brightness region of ∼15 extent in archival Galactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA Survey data. We also detect colocated H α emission from the Southern H α Sky Survey Atlas. Distance estimates based on these two detections come out to ∼0.9 kpc and ∼0.2 kpc, respectively, both of which are much smaller than the distance predicted by the NE2001 model (6.3 kpc) and YMW model (>25 kpc) and place the pulsar much closer to the plane of the Galaxy. If the pulsar/remnant association holds, this result also highlights the inherent difficulty in the classification of transients as “Galactic” (pulsar) or “extragalactic” (fast radio burst) toward the Galactic anticenter based solely on the modeled Galactic electron contribution to a detection.« less
  3. ABSTRACT Joint multimessenger observations with gravitational waves and electromagnetic (EM) data offer new insights into the astrophysical studies of compact objects. The third Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observing run began on 2019 April 1; during the 11 months of observation, there have been 14 compact binary systems candidates for which at least one component is potentially a neutron star. Although intensive follow-up campaigns involving tens of ground and space-based observatories searched for counterparts, no EM counterpart has been detected. Following on a previous study of the first six months of the campaign, we present in this paper the nextmore »five months of the campaign from 2019 October to 2020 March. We highlight two neutron star–black hole candidates (S191205ah and S200105ae), two binary neutron star candidates (S191213g and S200213t), and a binary merger with a possible neutron star and a ‘MassGap’ component, S200115j. Assuming that the gravitational-wave (GW) candidates are of astrophysical origin and their location was covered by optical telescopes, we derive possible constraints on the matter ejected during the events based on the non-detection of counterparts. We find that the follow-up observations during the second half of the third observing run did not meet the necessary sensitivity to constrain the source properties of the potential GW candidate. Consequently, we suggest that different strategies have to be used to allow a better usage of the available telescope time. We examine different choices for follow-up surveys to optimize sky localization coverage versus observational depth to understand the likelihood of counterpart detection.« less
  4. ABSTRACT

    Searches for optical transients are usually performed with a cadence of days to weeks, optimized for supernova discovery. The optical fast transient sky is still largely unexplored, with only a few surveys to date having placed meaningful constraints on the detection of extragalactic transients evolving at sub-hour time-scales. Here, we present the results of deep searches for dim, minute-time-scale extragalactic fast transients using the Dark Energy Camera, a core facility of our all-wavelength and all-messenger Deeper, Wider, Faster programme. We used continuous 20 s exposures to systematically probe time-scales down to 1.17 min at magnitude limits g > 23 (AB), detectingmore »hundreds of transient and variable sources. Nine candidates passed our strict criteria on duration and non-stellarity, all of which could be classified as flare stars based on deep multiband imaging. Searches for fast radio burst and gamma-ray counterparts during simultaneous multifacility observations yielded no counterparts to the optical transients. Also, no long-term variability was detected with pre-imaging and follow-up observations using the SkyMapper optical telescope. We place upper limits for minute-time-scale fast optical transient rates for a range of depths and time-scales. Finally, we demonstrate that optical g-band light-curve behaviour alone cannot discriminate between confirmed extragalactic fast transients such as prompt GRB flashes and Galactic stellar flares.

    « less
  5. Abstract We present the first Faraday rotation measure (RM) grid study of an individual low-mass cluster—the Fornax cluster—which is presently undergoing a series of mergers. Exploiting commissioning data for the POlarisation Sky Survey of the Universe’s Magnetism (POSSUM) covering a ${\sim}34$ square degree sky area using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), we achieve an RM grid density of ${\sim}25$ RMs per square degree from a 280-MHz band centred at 887 MHz, which is similar to expectations for forthcoming GHz-frequency ${\sim}3\pi$ -steradian sky surveys. These data allow us to probe the extended magnetoionic structure of the cluster and itsmore »surroundings in unprecedented detail. We find that the scatter in the Faraday RM of confirmed background sources is increased by $16.8\pm2.4$ rad m −2 within 1 $^\circ$ (360 kpc) projected distance to the cluster centre, which is 2–4 times larger than the spatial extent of the presently detectable X-ray-emitting intracluster medium (ICM). The mass of the Faraday-active plasma is larger than that of the X-ray-emitting ICM and exists in a density regime that broadly matches expectations for moderately dense components of the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium. We argue that forthcoming RM grids from both targeted and survey observations may be a singular probe of cosmic plasma in this regime. The morphology of the global Faraday depth enhancement is not uniform and isotropic but rather exhibits the classic morphology of an astrophysical bow shock on the southwest side of the main Fornax cluster, and an extended, swept-back wake on the northeastern side. Our favoured explanation for these phenomena is an ongoing merger between the main cluster and a subcluster to the southwest. The shock’s Mach angle and stand-off distance lead to a self-consistent transonic merger speed with Mach 1.06. The region hosting the Faraday depth enhancement also appears to show a decrement in both total and polarised radio emission compared to the broader field. We evaluate cosmic variance and free-free absorption by a pervasive cold dense gas surrounding NGC 1399 as possible causes but find both explanations unsatisfactory, warranting further observations. Generally, our study illustrates the scientific returns that can be expected from all-sky grids of discrete sources generated by forthcoming all-sky radio surveys.« less