skip to main content

Title: A subarcsec localized fast radio burst with a significant host galaxy dispersion measure contribution

We present the discovery of FRB 20210410D with the MeerKAT radio interferometer in South Africa, as part of the MeerTRAP commensal project. FRB 20210410D has a dispersion measure DM = 578.78 ± 2 ${\rm pc \, cm^{-3}}$ and was localized to subarcsec precision in the 2 s images made from the correlation data products. The localization enabled the association of the FRB with an optical galaxy at z = 0.1415, which when combined with the DM places it above the 3σ scatter of the Macquart relation. We attribute the excess DM to the host galaxy after accounting for contributions from the Milky Way’s interstellar medium and halo, and the combined effects of the intergalactic medium and intervening galaxies. This is the first FRB that is not associated with a dwarf galaxy to exhibit a likely large host galaxy DM contribution. We do not detect any continuum radio emission at the FRB position or from the host galaxy down to a 3σ rms of 14.4 $\mu$Jy beam−1. The FRB has a scattering delay of $29.4^{+2.8}_{-2.7}$ ms at 1 GHz, and exhibits candidate subpulses in the spectrum, which hint at the possibility of it being a repeating FRB. Although not constraining, we note that this FRB has not been seen to repeat in 7.28 h at 1.3 GHz with MeerKAT, 3 h at 2.4 GHz with Murriyang, and 5.7 h at simultaneous 2.3 GHz and 8.4 GHz observations with the Deep Space Network. We encourage further follow-up to establish a possible repeating nature.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
2206490 2206492
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 2064-2077
["p. 2064-2077"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    We report on the discovery and localization of fast radio bursts (FRBs) from the MeerTRAP project, a commensal fast radio transient-detection programme at MeerKAT in South Africa. Our hybrid approach combines a coherent search with an average field-of-view (FoV) of 0.4 $\rm deg^{2}$ with an incoherent search utilizing a FoV of ∼1.27 $\rm deg^{2}$ (both at 1284 MHz). Here, we present results on the first three FRBs: FRB 20200413A (DM = 1990.05 pc cm−3), FRB 20200915A (DM = 740.65 pc cm−3), and FRB 20201123A (DM = 433.55 pc cm−3). FRB 20200413A was discovered only in the incoherent beam. FRB 20200915A (also discovered only in the incoherent beam) shows speckled emission in the dynamic spectrum, which cannot be explained by interstellar scintillation in our Galaxy or plasma lensing, and might be intrinsic to the source. FRB 20201123A shows a faint post-cursor burst of about 200 ms after the main burst and warrants further follow-up to confirm whether it is a repeating FRB. FRB 20201123A also exhibits significant temporal broadening, consistent with scattering, by a turbulent medium. The broadening exceeds from what is predicted for the medium along the sightline through our Galaxy. We associate this scattering with the turbulent medium in the environment of the FRB in the host galaxy. Within the approximately 1 arcmin localization region of FRB 20201123A, we identify one luminous galaxy (r ≈ 15.67; J173438.35-504550.4) that dominates the posterior probability for a host association. The galaxy’s measured properties are consistent with other FRB hosts with secure associations.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The repeating fast radio burst FRB 20190520B is an anomaly of the FRB population thanks to its high dispersion measure (DM = 1205 pc cm−3) despite its low redshift ofzfrb= 0.241. This excess has been attributed to a large host contribution of DMhost≈ 900 pc cm−3, far larger than any other known FRB. In this paper, we describe spectroscopic observations of the FRB 20190520B field obtained as part of the FLIMFLAM survey, which yielded 701 galaxy redshifts in the field. We find multiple foreground galaxy groups and clusters, for which we then estimated halo masses by comparing their richness with numerical simulations. We discover two separateMhalo> 1014Mgalaxy clusters atz= 0.1867 and 0.2170 that are directly intersected by the FRB sight line within their characteristic halo radiusr200. Subtracting off their estimated DM contributions, as well that of the diffuse intergalactic medium, we estimate a host contribution ofDMhost=430220+140or280170+140pccm3(observed frame), depending on whether we assume that the halo gas extends tor200or 2 ×r200. This significantly smaller DMhost—no longer the largest known value—is now consistent with Hαemission measures of the host galaxy without invoking unusually high gas temperatures. Combined with the observed FRB scattering timescale, we estimate the turbulent fluctuation and geometric amplification factor of the scattering layer to beF˜G4.511(pc2km)1/3, suggesting that most of the gas is close to the FRB host. This result illustrates the importance of incorporating foreground data for FRB analyses both for understanding the nature of FRBs and to realize their potential as a cosmological probe.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The repeating fast radio burst FRB 20190520B is localized to a galaxy atz= 0.241, much closer than expected given its dispersion measure DM = 1205 ± 4 pc cm−3. Here we assess implications of the large DM and scattering observed from FRB 20190520B for the host galaxy’s plasma properties. A sample of 75 bursts detected with the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope shows scattering on two scales: a mean temporal delayτ(1.41 GHz) = 10.9 ± 1.5 ms, which is attributed to the host galaxy, and a mean scintillation bandwidth Δνd(1.41 GHz) = 0.21 ± 0.01 MHz, which is attributed to the Milky Way. Balmer line measurements for the host imply an Hαemission measure (galaxy frame) EMs= 620 pc cm−6× (T/104K)0.9, implying DMHαof order the value inferred from the FRB DM budget,DMh=1121138+89pc cm−3for plasma temperatures greater than the typical value 104K. Combiningτand DMhyields a nominal constraint on the scattering amplification from the host galaxyF˜G=1.50.3+0.8(pc2km)1/3, whereF˜describes turbulent density fluctuations andGrepresents the geometric leverage to scattering that depends on the location of the scattering material. For a two-screen scattering geometry whereτarises from the host galaxy and Δνdfrom the Milky Way, the implied distance between the FRB source and dominant scattering material is ≲100 pc. The host galaxy scattering and DM contributions support a novel technique for estimating FRB redshifts using theτ–DM relation, and are consistent with previous findings that scattering of localized FRBs is largely dominated by plasma within host galaxies and the Milky Way.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Faraday rotation measures (RMs) of fast radio bursts (FRBs) offer the prospect of directly measuring extragalactic magnetic fields. We present an analysis of the RMs of 10 as yet nonrepeating FRBs detected and localized to host galaxies with robust redshift measurements by the 63-antenna prototype of the Deep Synoptic Array (DSA-110). We combine this sample with published RMs of 15 localized FRBs, nine of which are repeating sources. For each FRB in the combined sample, we estimate the host-galaxy dispersion measure (DM) contributions and extragalactic RM. We find compelling evidence that the extragalactic components of FRB RMs are often dominated by contributions from the host-galaxy interstellar medium (ISM). Specifically, we find that both repeating and as yet nonrepeating FRBs show a correlation between the host DM and host RM in the rest frame, and we find an anticorrelation between extragalactic RM (in the observer frame) and redshift for nonrepeaters, as expected if the magnetized plasma is in the host galaxy. Important exceptions to the ISM origin include a dense, magnetized circumburst medium in some repeating FRBs, and the intracluster medium of host or intervening galaxy clusters. We find that the estimated ISM magnetic-field strengths,B¯, are characteristically ∼1–2μG larger than those inferred from Galactic radio pulsars. This suggests either increased ISM magnetization in FRB hosts in comparison with the Milky Way, or that FRBs preferentially reside in regions of increased magnetic-field strength within their hosts.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present the discovery of an as yet nonrepeating fast radio burst (FRB), FRB 20210117A, with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), as a part of the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients Survey. The subarcsecond localization of the burst led to the identification of its host galaxy atz= 0.214(1). This redshift is much lower than what would be expected for a source dispersion measure (DM) of 729 pc cm−3, given typical contributions from the intergalactic medium and the host galaxy. Optical observations reveal the host to be a dwarf galaxy with little ongoing star formation—very different to the dwarf host galaxies of the known repeating FRBs 20121102A and 20190520B. We find an excess DM contribution from the host and attribute it to the FRB’s local environment. We do not find any radio emission from the FRB site or host galaxy. The low magnetized environment and the lack of a persistent radio source indicate that the FRB source is older than those found in other dwarf host galaxies, establishing the diversity of FRB sources in dwarf galaxy environments. We find our observations to be fully consistent with the “hypernebula” model, where the FRB is powered by an accretion jet from a hyperaccreting black hole. Finally, our high time resolution analysis reveals burst characteristics similar to those seen in repeating FRBs. We encourage follow-up observations of FRB 20210117A to establish any repeating nature.

    more » « less