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  1. ABSTRACT Odd radio circles (ORCs) are recently-discovered faint diffuse circles of radio emission, of unknown cause, surrounding galaxies at moderate redshift (z ∼ 0.2 – 0.6). Here, we present detailed new MeerKAT radio images at 1284 MHz of the first ORC, originally discovered with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, with higher resolution (6 arcsec) and sensitivity (∼ 2.4 μJy/beam). In addition to the new images, which reveal a complex internal structure consisting of multiple arcs, we also present polarization and spectral index maps. Based on these new data, we consider potential mechanisms that may generate the ORCs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 29, 2023

    The Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) are a selection of well-studied galaxy clusters used to probe dense environments and distant gravitationally lensed galaxies. We explore the 21cm neutral hydrogen (H i) content of galaxies in three of the HFF clusters, Abell 2744 (z = 0.308), Abell S1063 (z = 0.346), and Abell 370 (z = 0.375), to investigate the evolution of gas in galaxies within intermediate redshift clusters. Using Early Science MeerKAT observations, we perform spectral-line stacking with H i cubes and make a 3σ stacked detection for blue galaxies in Abell S1063 ($M_\mathrm{HI} = 1.22^{+0.38}_{-0.36}\, \times 10^{10}\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$). We determine the 3σ H i mass detection limits of Abell 2744 and Abell 370 to be at the knee of the H i mass function. A final, more ambitious objective of this work is to search for gravitationally lensed H i emission behind these clusters, enabled by MeerKAT’s wide instantaneous bandwidth. We find no evidence of highly magnified H i emission at 0.33 < z < 0.58. The low thermal noise levels achieved in these pilot observations, despite short integration times, highlights the enormous potential of future MeerKAT H i observations of dense environments, and the intermediate-redshift Universe.

  3. 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
  4. Abstract

    In the local universe, OH megamasers (OHMs) are detected almost exclusively in infrared-luminous galaxies, with a prevalence that increases with IR luminosity, suggesting that they trace gas-rich galaxy mergers. Given the proximity of the rest frequencies of OH and the hyperfine transition of neutral atomic hydrogen (Hi), radio surveys to probe the cosmic evolution of Hiin galaxies also offer exciting prospects for exploiting OHMs to probe the cosmic history of gas-rich mergers. Using observations for the Looking At the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array (LADUMA) deep Hisurvey, we report the first untargeted detection of an OHM atz> 0.5, LADUMA J033046.20−275518.1 (nicknamed “Nkalakatha”). The host system, WISEA J033046.26−275518.3, is an infrared-luminous radio galaxy whose optical redshiftz≈ 0.52 confirms the MeerKAT emission-line detection as OH at a redshiftzOH= 0.5225 ± 0.0001 rather than Hiat lower redshift. The detected spectral line has 18.4σpeak significance, a width of 459 ± 59 km s−1, and an integrated luminosity of (6.31 ± 0.18 [statistical] ± 0.31 [systematic]) × 103L, placing it among the most luminous OHMs known. The galaxy’s far-infrared luminosityLFIR= (1.576 ±0.013) × 1012Lmarks it as an ultraluminous infrared galaxy; its ratio of OH and infrared luminosities is similar to those for lower-redshiftmore »OHMs. A comparison between optical and OH redshifts offers a slight indication of an OH outflow. This detection represents the first step toward a systematic exploitation of OHMs as a tracer of galaxy growth at high redshifts.

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