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  1. ABSTRACT 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 dynamicmore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 16, 2023
  2. Abstract We present the most sensitive and detailed view of the neutral hydrogen ( ${\rm H\small I}$ ) emission associated with the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), through the combination of data from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Parkes (Murriyang), as part of the Galactic Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (GASKAP) pilot survey. These GASKAP-HI pilot observations, for the first time, reveal ${\rm H\small I}$ in the SMC on similar physical scales as other important tracers of the interstellar medium, such as molecular gas and dust. The resultant image cube possesses an rms noise level of 1.1 Kmore »( $1.6\,\mathrm{mJy\ beam}^{-1}$ ) $\mathrm{per}\ 0.98\,\mathrm{km\ s}^{-1}$ spectral channel with an angular resolution of $30^{\prime\prime}$ ( ${\sim}10\,\mathrm{pc}$ ). We discuss the calibration scheme and the custom imaging pipeline that utilises a joint deconvolution approach, efficiently distributed across a computing cluster, to accurately recover the emission extending across the entire ${\sim}25\,\mathrm{deg}^2$ field-of-view. We provide an overview of the data products and characterise several aspects including the noise properties as a function of angular resolution and the represented spatial scales by deriving the global transfer function over the full spectral range. A preliminary spatial power spectrum analysis on individual spectral channels reveals that the power law nature of the density distribution extends down to scales of 10 pc. We highlight the scientific potential of these data by comparing the properties of an outflowing high-velocity cloud with previous ASKAP+Parkes ${\rm H\small I}$ test observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We present the results of an analysis of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observations of the full 2500 deg 2 South Pole Telescope (SPT)-Sunyaev–Zel’dovich cluster sample. We describe a process for identifying active galactic nuclei (AGN) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) based on WISE mid-IR color and redshift. Applying this technique to the BCGs of the SPT-SZ sample, we calculate the AGN-hosting BCG fraction, which is defined as the fraction of BCGs hosting bright central AGNs over all possible BCGs. Assuming an evolving single-burst stellar population model, we find statistically significant evidence (>99.9%) for a mid-IR excess at highmore »redshift compared to low redshift, suggesting that the fraction of AGN-hosting BCGs increases with redshift over the range of 0 < z < 1.3. The best-fit redshift trend of the AGN-hosting BCG fraction has the form (1 + z ) 4.1±1.0 . These results are consistent with previous studies in galaxy clusters as well as as in field galaxies. One way to explain this result is that member galaxies at high redshift tend to have more cold gas. While BCGs in nearby galaxy clusters grow mostly by dry mergers with cluster members, leading to no increase in AGN activity, BCGs at high redshift could primarily merge with gas-rich satellites, providing fuel for feeding AGNs. If this observed increase in AGN activity is linked to gas-rich mergers rather than ICM cooling, we would expect to see an increase in scatter in the P cav versus L cool relation at z > 1. Last, this work confirms that the runaway cooling phase, as predicted by the classical cooling-flow model, in the Phoenix cluster is extremely rare and most BCGs have low (relative to Eddington) black hole accretion rates.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 3, 2023
  4. Abstract We perform the first simultaneous Bayesian parameter inference and optimal reconstruction of the gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), using 100 deg 2 of polarization observations from the SPTpol receiver on the South Pole Telescope. These data reach noise levels as low as 5.8 μ K arcmin in polarization, which are low enough that the typically used quadratic estimator (QE) technique for analyzing CMB lensing is significantly suboptimal. Conversely, the Bayesian procedure extracts all lensing information from the data and is optimal at any noise level. We infer the amplitude of the gravitational lensing potential to bemore »A ϕ = 0.949 ± 0.122 using the Bayesian pipeline, consistent with our QE pipeline result, but with 17% smaller error bars. The Bayesian analysis also provides a simple way to account for systematic uncertainties, performing a similar job as frequentist “bias hardening” or linear bias correction, and reducing the systematic uncertainty on A ϕ due to polarization calibration from almost half of the statistical error to effectively zero. Finally, we jointly constrain A ϕ along with A L , the amplitude of lensing-like effects on the CMB power spectra, demonstrating that the Bayesian method can be used to easily infer parameters both from an optimal lensing reconstruction and from the delensed CMB, while exactly accounting for the correlation between the two. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the Bayesian approach on real data, and pave the way for future analysis of deep CMB polarization measurements with SPT-3G, Simons Observatory, and CMB-S4, where improvements relative to the QE can reach 1.5 times tighter constraints on A ϕ and seven times lower effective lensing reconstruction noise.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. Abstract SPT-3G is the third survey receiver operating on the South Pole Telescope dedicated to high-resolution observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Sensitive measurements of the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the CMB provide a powerful data set for constraining cosmology. Additionally, CMB surveys with arcminute-scale resolution are capable of detecting galaxy clusters, millimeter-wave bright galaxies, and a variety of transient phenomena. The SPT-3G instrument provides a significant improvement in mapping speed over its predecessors, SPT-SZ and SPTpol. The broadband optics design of the instrument achieves a 430 mm diameter image plane across observing bands of 95, 150, andmore »220 GHz, with 1.2′ FWHM beam response at 150 GHz. In the receiver, this image plane is populated with 2690 dual-polarization, trichroic pixels (∼16,000 detectors) read out using a 68× digital frequency-domain multiplexing readout system. In 2018, SPT-3G began a multiyear survey of 1500 deg 2 of the southern sky. We summarize the unique optical, cryogenic, detector, and readout technologies employed in SPT-3G, and we report on the integrated performance of the instrument.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  6. ABSTRACT We perform a cross validation of the cluster catalogue selected by the red-sequence Matched-filter Probabilistic Percolation algorithm (redMaPPer) in Dark Energy Survey year 1 (DES-Y1) data by matching it with the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect (SZE) selected cluster catalogue from the South Pole Telescope SPT-SZ survey. Of the 1005 redMaPPer selected clusters with measured richness $\hat{\lambda }\gt 40$ in the joint footprint, 207 are confirmed by SPT-SZ. Using the mass information from the SZE signal, we calibrate the richness–mass relation using a Bayesian cluster population model. We find a mass trend λ ∝ MB consistent with a linear relation (B ∼ 1),more »no significant redshift evolution and an intrinsic scatter in richness of σλ = 0.22 ± 0.06. By considering two error models, we explore the impact of projection effects on the richness–mass modelling, confirming that such effects are not detectable at the current level of systematic uncertainties. At low richness SPT-SZ confirms fewer redMaPPer clusters than expected. We interpret this richness dependent deficit in confirmed systems as due to the increased presence at low richness of low-mass objects not correctly accounted for by our richness-mass scatter model, which we call contaminants. At a richness $\hat{\lambda }=40$, this population makes up ${\gt}12{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (97.5 percentile) of the total population. Extrapolating this to a measured richness $\hat{\lambda }=20$ yields ${\gt}22{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (97.5 percentile). With these contamination fractions, the predicted redMaPPer number counts in different plausible cosmologies are compatible with the measured abundance. The presence of such a population is also a plausible explanation for the different mass trends (B ∼ 0.75) obtained from mass calibration using purely optically selected clusters. The mean mass from stacked weak lensing (WL) measurements suggests that these low-mass contaminants are galaxy groups with masses ∼3–5 × 1013 M⊙ which are beyond the sensitivity of current SZE and X-ray surveys but a natural target for SPT-3G and eROSITA.« less
  7. Abstract The Variables and Slow Transients Survey (VAST) on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is designed to detect highly variable and transient radio sources on timescales from 5 s to $\sim\!5$ yr. In this paper, we present the survey description, observation strategy and initial results from the VAST Phase I Pilot Survey. This pilot survey consists of $\sim\!162$ h of observations conducted at a central frequency of 888 MHz between 2019 August and 2020 August, with a typical rms sensitivity of $0.24\ \mathrm{mJy\ beam}^{-1}$ and angular resolution of $12-20$ arcseconds. There are 113 fields, each of which wasmore »observed for 12 min integration time, with between 5 and 13 repeats, with cadences between 1 day and 8 months. The total area of the pilot survey footprint is 5 131 square degrees, covering six distinct regions of the sky. An initial search of two of these regions, totalling 1 646 square degrees, revealed 28 highly variable and/or transient sources. Seven of these are known pulsars, including the millisecond pulsar J2039–5617. Another seven are stars, four of which have no previously reported radio detection (SCR J0533–4257, LEHPM 2-783, UCAC3 89–412162 and 2MASS J22414436–6119311). Of the remaining 14 sources, two are active galactic nuclei, six are associated with galaxies and the other six have no multi-wavelength counterparts and are yet to be identified.« less
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022