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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present a sample of well-localized fast radio bursts (FRBs) discovered by the MeerTRAP project at the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa. We discovered the three FRBs in single coherent tied-array beams and localized them to an area of ∼1 arcmin2. We investigate their burst properties, scattering, repetition rates, and localizations in a multiwavelength context. FRB 20201211A shows hints of scatter broadening but is otherwise consistent with instrumental dispersion smearing. For FRB 20210202D, we discovered a faint post-cursor burst separated by ∼200 ms, suggesting a distinct burst component or a repeat pulse. We attempt to associate the FRBs with host galaxy candidates. For FRB 20210408H, we tentatively (0.35–0.53 probability) identify a compatible host at a redshift ∼0.5. Additionally, we analyse the MeerTRAP survey properties, such as the survey coverage, fluence completeness, and their implications for the FRB population. Based on the entire sample of 11 MeerTRAP FRBs discovered by the end of 2021, we estimate the FRB all-sky rates and their scaling with the fluence threshold. The inferred FRB all-sky rates at 1.28 GHz are $8.2_{-4.6}^{+8.0}$ and $2.1_{-1.1}^{+1.8} \times 10^3 \: \text{sky}^{-1} \: \text{d}^{-1}$ above 0.66 and 3.44 Jy ms for the coherent and incoherent surveys, respectively. The scaling between the MeerTRAP rates is flatter than at higher fluences at the 1.4σ level. There seems to be a deficit of low-fluence FRBs, suggesting a break or turn-over in the rate versus fluence relation below 2 Jy ms. We speculate on cosmological or progenitor-intrinsic origins. The cumulative source counts within our surveys appear consistent with the Euclidean scaling.

     
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  2. 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.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT We report observed and derived timing parameters for three millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from observations collected with the Parkes 64-m telescope, Murriyang. The pulsars were found during reprocessing of archival survey data by Mickaliger et al. One of the new pulsars (PSR J1546–5925) has a spin period P = 7.8 ms and is isolated. The other two (PSR J0921–5202 with P = 9.7 ms and PSR J1146–6610 with P = 3.7 ms) are in binary systems around low-mass (${\gt}0.2\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$) companions. Their respective orbital periods are 38.2 and 62.8 d. While PSR J0921–5202 has a low orbital eccentricity e = 1.3 × 10−5, in keeping with many other Galactic MSPs, PSR J1146–6610 has a significantly larger eccentricity, e = 7.4 × 10−3. This makes it a likely member of a group of eccentric MSP–helium white dwarf binary systems in the Galactic disc whose formation is poorly understood. Two of the pulsars are co-located with previously unidentified point sources discovered with the Fermi satellite’s Large Area Telescope, but no γ-ray pulsations have been detected, likely due to their low spin-down powers. We also show that, particularly in terms of orbital diversity, the current sample of MSPs is far from complete and is subject to a number of selection biases. 
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  4. 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 dynamic 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.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    Searches for optical transients are usually performed with a cadence of days to weeks, optimized for supernova discovery. The optical fast transient sky is still largely unexplored, with only a few surveys to date having placed meaningful constraints on the detection of extragalactic transients evolving at sub-hour time-scales. Here, we present the results of deep searches for dim, minute-time-scale extragalactic fast transients using the Dark Energy Camera, a core facility of our all-wavelength and all-messenger Deeper, Wider, Faster programme. We used continuous 20 s exposures to systematically probe time-scales down to 1.17 min at magnitude limits g > 23 (AB), detecting hundreds of transient and variable sources. Nine candidates passed our strict criteria on duration and non-stellarity, all of which could be classified as flare stars based on deep multiband imaging. Searches for fast radio burst and gamma-ray counterparts during simultaneous multifacility observations yielded no counterparts to the optical transients. Also, no long-term variability was detected with pre-imaging and follow-up observations using the SkyMapper optical telescope. We place upper limits for minute-time-scale fast optical transient rates for a range of depths and time-scales. Finally, we demonstrate that optical g-band light-curve behaviour alone cannot discriminate between confirmed extragalactic fast transients such as prompt GRB flashes and Galactic stellar flares.

     
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