skip to main content


Title: The unseen host galaxy and high dispersion measure of a precisely localized fast radio burst suggests a high-redshift origin
ABSTRACT

FRB 20210912A is a fast radio burst (FRB), detected and localized to subarcsecond precision by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. No host galaxy has been identified for this burst despite the high precision of its localization and deep optical and infrared follow-up, to 5σ limits of R = 26.7 mag and Ks = 24.9 mag with the Very Large Telescope. The combination of precise radio localization and deep optical imaging has almost always resulted in the secure identification of a host galaxy, and this is the first case in which the line of sight is not obscured by the Galactic disc. The dispersion measure of this burst, DMFRB = 1233.696 ± 0.006 pc cm−3, allows for a large source redshift of z > 1 according to the Macquart relation. It could thus be that the host galaxy is consistent with the known population of FRB hosts, but is too distant to detect in our observations (z > 0.7 for a host like that of the first repeating FRB source, FRB 20121102A); that it is more nearby with a significant excess in DMhost, and thus dimmer than any known FRB host; or, least likely, that the FRB is truly hostless. We consider each possibility, making use of the population of known FRB hosts to frame each scenario. The fact of the missing host has ramifications for the FRB field: even with high-precision localization and deep follow-up, some FRB hosts may be difficult to detect, with more distant hosts being the less likely to be found. This has implications for FRB cosmology, in which high-redshift detections are valuable.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10442056
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
525
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0035-8711
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 994-1007
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. 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
  2. ABSTRACT We develop a sophisticated model of fast radio burst (FRB) observations, accounting for the intrinsic cosmological gas distribution and host galaxy contributions, and give the most detailed account yet of observational biases due to burst width, dispersion measure, and the exact telescope beamshape. Our results offer a significant increase in both accuracy and precision beyond those previously obtained. Using results from ASKAP and Parkes, we present our best-fitting FRB population parameters in a companion paper. Here, we consider in detail the expected and fitted distributions in redshift, dispersion measure, and signal to noise. We estimate that the unlocalized ASKAP FRBs arise from z < 0.5, with between a third and a half within z < 0.1. Our predicted source-counts (‘logN–logS’) distribution confirms previous indications of a steepening index near the Parkes detection threshold of 1 Jy ms. We find no evidence for a minimum FRB energy, and rule out Emin > 1039.0 erg at 90 per cent C.L. Importantly, we find that above a certain DM, observational biases cause the Macquart (DM–z) relation to become inverted, implying that the highest-DM events detected in the unlocalized Parkes and ASKAP samples are unlikely to be the most distant. More localized FRBs will be required to quantitatively estimate this effect, though its cause is a well-understood observational bias. Works assuming a 1–1 DM–z relation may therefore derive erroneous results. Our analysis of errors suggests that limiting factors in our analysis are understanding of FRB spectral behaviour, sensitivity response of search experiments, and the treatment of the repeating population and luminosity function. 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT

    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
  4. ABSTRACT

    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, but is comparable to the hosts of so far non-repeating FRBs, further building the link between the two apparent populations.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We report the detection and interferometric localization of the repeating fast radio burst (FRB) source FRB 20220912A during commissioning observations with the Deep Synoptic Array (DSA-110). Two bursts were detected from FRB 20220912A, one each on 2022 October 18 and 2022 October 25. The best-fit position is (R.A. J2000, decl. J2000) = (23:09:04.9, +48:42:25.4), with a 90% confidence error ellipse with radii ±2″ and ±1″ in R.A. and decl., respectively. The two bursts are polarized, and we find a Faraday rotation measure that is consistent with the low value of +0.6 rad m−2reported by CHIME/FRB. The DSA-110 localization overlaps with the galaxy PSO J347.2702+48.7066 at a redshiftz= 0.0771, which we identify as the likely host. PSO J347.2702+48.7066 has a stellar mass of approximately 1010M, modest internal dust extinction, and a star formation rate likely in excess of 0.1Myr−1. The host-galaxy contribution to the dispersion measure is likely ≲50 pc cm−3. The FRB 20220912A source is therefore likely viewed along a tenuous plasma column through the host galaxy.

     
    more » « less