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  1. ABSTRACT We present results from a radio survey for variable and transient sources on 15-min time-scales, using the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) pilot surveys. The pilot surveys consist of 505 h of observations conducted at around 1 GHz observing frequency, with a total sky coverage of 1476 deg2. Each observation was tracked for approximately 8 – 10 h, with a typical rms sensitivity of ∼30 μJy beam−1 and an angular resolution of ∼12 arcsec. The variability search was conducted within each 8 – 10 h observation on a 15-min time-scale. We detected 38 variable and transient sources. Seven of them are known pulsars, including an eclipsing millisecond pulsar, PSR J2039−5617. Another eight sources are stars, only one of which has been previously identified as a radio star. For the remaining 23 objects, 22 are associated with active galactic nuclei or galaxies (including the five intra-hour variables that have been reported previously), and their variations are caused by discrete, local plasma screens. The remaining source has no multiwavelength counterparts and is therefore yet to be identified. This is the first large-scale radio survey for variables and transient sources on minute time-scales at a sub-mJy sensitivity level. We expect to discover ∼1 highly variable source per day using the same technique on the full ASKAP surveys. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  2. 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.

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    We present the results of a radio transient and polarization survey towards the Galactic Centre, conducted as part of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Variables and Slow Transients pilot survey. The survey region consisted of five fields covering $\sim 265\, {\rm deg}^2$ (350○ ≲ l ≲ 10○, |b| ≲ 10○). Each field was observed for 12 min, with between 7 and 9 repeats on cadences of between one day and four months. We detected eight highly variable sources and seven highly circularly polarized sources (14 unique sources in total). Seven of these sources are known pulsars including the rotating radio transient PSR J1739–2521 and the eclipsing pulsar PSR J1723–2837. One of them is a low-mass X-ray binary, 4U 1758–25. Three of them are coincident with optical or infrared sources and are likely to be stars. The remaining three may be related to the class of Galactic Centre Radio Transients (including a highly likely one, VAST J173608.2–321634, that has been reported previously), although this class is not yet understood. In the coming years, we expect to detect ∼40 bursts from this kind of source with the proposed 4-yr VAST survey if the distribution of the source is isotropic over the Galactic fields.

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  4. Abstract We present a high-resolution analysis of the host galaxy of fast radio burst (FRB) 190608, an SB(r)c galaxy at z = 0.11778 (hereafter HG 190608), to dissect its local environment and its contributions to the FRB properties. Our Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 ultraviolet and visible light image reveals that the subarcsecond localization of FRB 190608 is coincident with a knot of star formation (Σ SFR = 1.5 × 10 −2 M ⊙ yr −1 kpc −2 ) in the northwest spiral arm of HG 190608. Using H β emission present in our Keck Cosmic Web Imager integral field spectrum of the galaxy with a surface brightness of μ H β = ( 3.36 ± 0.21 ) × 10 − 17 erg s − 1 cm − 2 arcsec − 2 , we infer an extinction-corrected H α surface brightness and compute a dispersion measure (DM) from the interstellar medium of HG 190608 of DM Host,ISM = 94 ± 38 pc cm −3 . The galaxy rotates with a circular velocity v circ = 141 ± 8 km s −1 at an inclination i gas = 37° ± 3°, giving a dynamical mass M halo dyn ≈ 10 11.96 ± 0.08 M ⊙ . This implies a halo contribution to the DM of DM Host,Halo = 55 ± 25 pc cm −3 subject to assumptions on the density profile and fraction of baryons retained. From the galaxy rotation curve, we infer a bar-induced pattern speed of Ω p = 34 ± 6 km s −1 kpc −1 using linear resonance theory. We then calculate the maximum time since star formation for a progenitor using the furthest distance to the arm’s leading edge within the localization, and find t enc = 21 − 6 + 25 Myr. Unlike previous high-resolution studies of FRB environments, we find no evidence of disturbed morphology, emission, or kinematics for FRB 190608. 
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  5. ABSTRACT We report the results of the rapid follow-up observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi satellite to search for associated fast radio bursts. The observations were conducted with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder at frequencies from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. A set of 20 bursts, of which four were short GRBs, were followed up with a typical latency of about 1 min, for a duration of up to 11 h after the burst. The data were searched using 4096 dispersion measure trials up to a maximum dispersion measure of 3763 pc cm−3, and for pulse widths w over a range of duration from 1.256 to 40.48 ms. No associated pulsed radio emission was observed above $26 \, {\rm Jy\, ms}\, (w/1\, {\rm ms})^{-1/2}$ for any of the 20 GRBs. 
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  6. Abstract We present radio observations (1–40 GHz) for 36 classical novae, representing data from over five decades compiled from the literature, telescope archives, and our own programs. Our targets display a striking diversity in their optical parameters (e.g., spanning optical fading timescales, t 2 = 1–263 days), and we find a similar diversity in the radio light curves. Using a brightness temperature analysis, we find that radio emission from novae is a mixture of thermal and synchrotron emission, with nonthermal emission observed at earlier times. We identify high brightness temperature emission ( T B > 5 × 10 4 K) as an indication of synchrotron emission in at least nine (25%) of the novae. We find a class of synchrotron-dominated novae with mildly evolved companions, exemplified by V5589 Sgr and V392 Per, that appear to be a bridge between classical novae with dwarf companions and symbiotic binaries with giant companions. Four of the novae in our sample have two distinct radio maxima (the first dominated by synchrotron and the later by thermal emission), and in four cases the early synchrotron peak is temporally coincident with a dramatic dip in the optical light curve, hinting at a common site for particle acceleration and dust formation. We publish the light curves in a machine-readable table and encourage the use of these data by the broader community in multiwavelength studies and modeling efforts. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Abstract We discuss observational strategies to detect prompt bursts associated with gravitational wave (GW) events using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). Many theoretical models of binary neutron stars mergers predict that bright, prompt radio emission would accompany the merger. The detection of such prompt emission would greatly improve our knowledge of the physical conditions, environment, and location of the merger. However, searches for prompt emission are complicated by the relatively poor localisation for GW events, with the 90% credible region reaching hundreds or even thousands of square degrees. Operating in fly’s eye mode, the ASKAP field of view can reach $\sim1\,000$ deg $^2$ at $\sim$ $888\,{\rm MHz}$ . This potentially allows observers to cover most of the 90% credible region quickly enough to detect prompt emission. We use skymaps for GW170817 and GW190814 from LIGO/Virgo’s third observing run to simulate the probability of detecting prompt emission for GW events in the upcoming fourth observing run. With only alerts released after merger, we find it difficult to slew the telescope sufficiently quickly as to capture any prompt emission. However, with the addition of alerts released before merger by negative-latency pipelines, we find that it should be possible to search for nearby, bright prompt fast radio burst-like emission from GW events. Nonetheless, the rates are low: we would expect to observe $\sim$ 0.012 events during the fourth observing run, assuming that the prompt emission is emitted microseconds around the merger. 
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