skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on June 21, 2023

Title: High time resolution search for prompt radio emission from the long GRB 210419A with the Murchison Widefield Array
ABSTRACT We present a low-frequency (170–200 MHz) search for prompt radio emission associated with the long GRB 210419A using the rapid-response mode of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), triggering observations with the Voltage Capture System for the first time. The MWA began observing GRB 210419A within 89 s of its detection by Swift, enabling us to capture any dispersion delayed signal emitted by this gamma-ray burst (GRB) for a typical range of redshifts. We conducted a standard single pulse search with a temporal and spectral resolution of $100\, \mu$s and 10 kHz over a broad range of dispersion measures from 1 to $5000\, \text{pc}\, \text{cm}^{-3}$, but none were detected. However, fluence upper limits of 77–224 Jy ms derived over a pulse width of 0.5–10 ms and a redshift of 0.6 < z < 4 are some of the most stringent at low radio frequencies. We compared these fluence limits to the GRB jet–interstellar medium interaction model, placing constraints on the fraction of magnetic energy (ϵB ≲ [0.05–0.1]). We also searched for signals during the X-ray flaring activity of GRB 210419A on minute time-scales in the image domain and found no emission, resulting in an intensity upper limit of $0.57\, \text{Jy}\, \text{beam}^{-1}$, corresponding to a constraint of more » ϵB ≲ 10−3. Our non-detection could imply that GRB 210419A was at a high redshift, there was not enough magnetic energy for low-frequency emission, or the radio waves did not escape from the GRB environment. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2756 to 2768
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Many short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) originate from binary neutron star mergers, and there are several theories that predict the production of coherent, prompt radio signals either prior, during, or shortly following the merger, as well as persistent pulsar-like emission from the spin-down of a magnetar remnant. Here we present a low frequency (170–200 MHz) search for coherent radio emission associated with nine short GRBs detected by the Swift and/or Fermi satellites using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) rapid-response observing mode. The MWA began observing these events within 30–60 s of their high-energy detection, enabling us to capture any dispersion delayed signals emitted by short GRBs for a typical range of redshifts. We conducted transient searches at the GRB positions on timescales of 5 s, 30 s, and 2 min, resulting in the most constraining flux density limits on any associated transient of 0.42, 0.29, and 0.084 Jy, respectively. We also searched for dispersed signals at a temporal and spectral resolution of 0.5 s and 1.28 MHz, but none were detected. However, the fluence limit of 80–100 Jy ms derived for GRB 190627A is the most stringent to date for a short GRB. Assuming the formation of a stable magnetarmore »for this GRB, we compared the fluence and persistent emission limits to short GRB coherent emission models, placing constraints on key parameters including the radio emission efficiency of the nearly merged neutron stars ( $\epsilon_r\lesssim10^{-4}$ ), the fraction of magnetic energy in the GRB jet ( $\epsilon_B\lesssim2\times10^{-4}$ ), and the radio emission efficiency of the magnetar remnant ( $\epsilon_r\lesssim10^{-3}$ ). Comparing the limits derived for our full GRB sample (along with those in the literature) to the same emission models, we demonstrate that our fluence limits only place weak constraints on the prompt emission predicted from the interaction between the relativistic GRB jet and the interstellar medium for a subset of magnetar parameters. However, the 30-min flux density limits were sensitive enough to theoretically detect the persistent radio emission from magnetar remnants up to a redshift of $z\sim0.6$ . Our non-detection of this emission could imply that some GRBs in the sample were not genuinely short or did not result from a binary neutron star merger, the GRBs were at high redshifts, these mergers formed atypical magnetars, the radiation beams of the magnetar remnants were pointing away from Earth, or the majority did not form magnetars but rather collapse directly into black holes.« less
  2. 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 themore »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
  3. Abstract The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm 3 . The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlatormore »mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.« less
  4. We have conducted the most sensitive low frequency (below 100 MHz) search to date for prompt, low-frequency radio emission associated with short-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), using the Owens Valley Radio Observatory Long Wavelength Array (OVRO-LWA). The OVRO-LWA's nearly full-hemisphere field-of-view (∼20,000 square degrees) allows us to search for low-frequency (sub-100 MHz) counterparts for a large sample of the subset of GRB events for which prompt radio emission has been predicted. Following the detection of short GRB 170112A by Swift, we used all-sky OVRO-LWA images spanning one hour prior to and two hours following the GRB event to search for a transient source coincident with the position of GRB 170112A. We detect no transient source, with our most constraining 1σ flux density limit of 650 mJy for frequencies spanning 27 MHz−84 MHz. We place constraints on a number of models predicting prompt, low-frequency radio emission accompanying short GRBs and their potential binary neutron star merger progenitors, and place an upper limit of Lradio/Lγ≲7×10−16 on the fraction of energy released in the prompt radio emission. These observations serve as a pilot effort for a program targeting a wider sample of both short and long GRBs with the OVRO-LWA, including bursts with confirmedmore »redshift measurements which are critical to placing the most constraining limits on prompt radio emission models, as well as a program for the follow-up of gravitational wave compact binary coalescence events detected by advanced LIGO and Virgo.« less
  5. ABSTRACT The origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs) still remains a mystery, even with the increased number of discoveries in the last 3 yr. Growing evidence suggests that some FRBs may originate from magnetars. Large, single-dish telescopes such as Arecibo Observatory (AO) and Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have the sensitivity to detect FRB 121102-like bursts at gigaparsec distances. Here, we present searches using AO and GBT that aimed to find potential radio bursts at 11 sites of past gamma-ray bursts that show evidence for the birth of a magnetar. We also performed a search towards GW170817, which has a merger remnant whose nature remains uncertain. We place $10\sigma$ fluence upper limits of ≈0.036 Jy ms at 1.4 GHz and ≈0.063 Jy ms at 4.5 GHz for the AO data and fluence upper limits of ≈0.085 Jy ms at 1.4 GHz and ≈0.098 Jy ms at 1.9 GHz for the GBT data, for a maximum pulse width of ≈42 ms. The AO observations had sufficient sensitivity to detect any FRB of similar luminosity to the one recently detected from the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154. Assuming a Schechter function for the luminosity function of FRBs, we find that our non-detections favour a steep power-law index (α ≲ −1.1) and a large cut-off luminositymore »(L0 ≳ 1041 erg s−1).« less