skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Gaensler, B. M."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We present the discovery of the fading radio transient FIRST J153350.8+272729. The source had a maximum observed 5 GHz radio luminosity of 8 × 1039erg s−1in 1986, but by 2019 had faded by a factor of nearly 400. It is located at the center of a galaxy (SDSS J153350.89+272729) at 147 Mpc, which shows weak Type II Seyfert activity. We show that a tidal disruption event (TDE) is the preferred scenario for FIRST J153350.8+272729, although it could plausibly be interpreted as the afterglow of a long-durationγ-ray burst. This is only the second TDE candidate to be first discovered at radio wavelengths. Its luminosity fills a gap between the radio afterglows of subrelativistic TDEs in the local universe, and relativistic TDEs at high redshifts. The unusual properties of FIRST J153350.8+272729 (ongoing nuclear activity in the host galaxy, high radio luminosity) motivate more extensive TDE searches in untargeted radio surveys.

  2. Abstract We report the discovery of a highly circularly polarized, variable, steep-spectrum pulsar in the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) survey. The pulsar is located about 1° from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and has a significant fractional circular polarization of ∼20%. We discovered pulsations with a period of 322.5 ms, dispersion measure (DM) of 157.5 pc cm −3 , and rotation measure (RM) of +456 rad m −2 using observations from the MeerKAT and the Parkes telescopes. This DM firmly places the source, PSR J0523−7125, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This RM is extreme compared to other pulsars in the LMC (more than twice that of the largest previously reported one). The average flux density of ∼1 mJy at 1400 MHz and ∼25 mJy at 400 MHz places it among the most luminous radio pulsars known. It likely evaded previous discovery because of its very steep radio spectrum (spectral index α ≈ −3, where S ν ∝ ν α ) and broad pulse profile (duty cycle ≳35%). We discuss implications for searches for unusual radio sources in continuum images, as well as extragalactic pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds and beyond.more »Our result highlighted the possibility of identifying pulsars, especially extreme pulsars, from radio continuum images. Future large-scale radio surveys will give us an unprecedented opportunity to discover more pulsars and potentially the most distant pulsars beyond the Magellanic Clouds.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We present new radio and optical data, including very-long-baseline interferometry, as well as archival data analysis, for the luminous, decades-long radio transient FIRST J141918.9+394036. The radio data reveal a synchrotron self-absorption peak around 0.3 GHz and a radius of around 1.3 mas (0.5 pc) 26 yr post-discovery, indicating a blastwave energy ∼5 × 10 50 erg. The optical spectrum shows a broad [O iii ] λ 4959,5007 emission line that may indicate collisional excitation in the host galaxy, but its association with the transient cannot be ruled out. The properties of the host galaxy are suggestive of a massive stellar progenitor that formed at low metallicity. Based on the radio light curve, blastwave velocity, energetics, nature of the host galaxy and transient rates, we find that the properties of J1419+3940 are most consistent with long gamma-ray burst (LGRB) afterglows. Other classes of (optically discovered) stellar explosions as well as neutron star mergers are disfavored, and invoking any exotic scenario may not be necessary. It is therefore likely that J1419+3940 is an off-axis LGRB afterglow (as suggested by Law et al. and Marcote et al.), and under this premise the inverse beaming fraction is found to be f b −more »1 ≃ 280 − 200 + 700 , corresponding to an average jet half-opening angle < θ j > ≃ 5 − 2 + 4 degrees (68% confidence), consistent with previous estimates. From the volumetric rate we predict that surveys with the Very Large Array, Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, and MeerKAT will find a handful of J1419+3940-like events over the coming years.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We report the discovery of seven new Galactic pulsars with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment’s Fast Radio Burst (CHIME/FRB) backend. These sources were first identified via single pulses in CHIME/FRB, then followed up with CHIME/Pulsar. Four sources appear to be rotating radio transients, pulsar-like sources with occasional single-pulse emission with an underlying periodicity. Of those four sources, three have detected periods ranging from 220 ms to 2.726 s. Three sources have more persistent but still intermittent emission and are likely intermittent or nulling pulsars. We have determined phase-coherent timing solutions for the latter two. These seven sources are the first discovery of previously unknown Galactic sources with CHIME/FRB and highlight the potential of fast radio burst detection instruments to search for intermittent Galactic radio sources.
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 14, 2023
  6. Abstract

    The repeating FRB 20201124A was first discovered by CHIME/FRB in November of 2020, after which it was seen to repeat a few times over several months. It entered a period of high activity in April of 2021, at which time several observatories recorded tens to hundreds more bursts from the source. These follow-up observations enabled precise localization and host-galaxy identification. In this paper, we report on the CHIME/FRB-detected bursts from FRB 20201124A, including their best-fit morphologies, fluences, and arrival times. The large exposure time of the CHIME/FRB telescope toward the location of this source allows us to constrain its rates of activity. We analyze the repetition rates over different spans of time, constraining the rate prior to discovery to <3.4 day−1(at 3σ), and demonstrate a significant change in the event rate following initial detection. Lastly, we perform a maximum-likelihood estimation of a power-law luminosity function, finding a best-fit indexα= −4.6 ± 1.3 ± 0.6, with a break at a fluence threshold ofFmin16.6Jy ms, consistent with the fluence completeness limit of the observations. This index is consistent within uncertainties with those of other repeating FRBs for which it has been determined.

  7. 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 its 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 amore »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