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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 a rapid timing analysis of optical (HiPERCAM and ULTRACAM) and X-ray (NICER) observations of the X-ray transient Swift J1858.6−0814 during 2018 and 2019. The optical light curves show relatively slow, large amplitude (∼1 mag in gs) ‘blue’ flares (i.e. stronger at shorter wavelengths) on time-scales of ∼minutes as well as fast, small amplitude (∼0.1 mag in gs) ‘red’ flares (i.e. stronger at longer wavelengths) on time-scales of ∼seconds. The ‘blue’ and ‘red’ flares are consistent with X-ray reprocessing and optically thin synchrotron emission, respectively, similar to what is observed in other X-ray binaries. The simultaneous optical versus soft- and hard-band X-ray light curves show time- and energy-dependent correlations. The 2019 March 4 and parts of the June data show a nearly symmetric positive cross-correlations (CCFs) at positive lags consistent with simple X-ray disc reprocessing. The soft- and hard-band CCFs are similar and can be reproduced if disc reprocessing dominates in the optical and one component (disc or synchrotron Comptonization) dominates both the soft and hard X-rays. A part of the 2019 June data shows a very different CCFs. The observed positive correlation at negative lag in the soft band can be reproduced if the optical synchrotron emission is correlated with the hot flow X-ray emission. The observed timing properties are in qualitative agreement with the hybrid inner hot accretion flow model, where the relative role of the different X-ray and optical components that vary during the course of the outburst, as well as on shorter time-scales, govern the shape of the optical/X-ray CCFs.

     
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  3. 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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  4. ABSTRACT Since their discovery more than 50 years ago, broad-band radio studies of pulsars have generated a wealth of information about the underlying physics of radio emission. In order to gain some further insights into this elusive emission mechanism, we performed a multifrequency study of two very well-known pulsars, PSR B0919+06 and PSR B1859+07. These pulsars show peculiar radio emission properties whereby the emission shifts to an earlier rotation phase before returning to the nominal emission phase in a few tens of pulsar rotations (also known as ‘swooshes’). We confirm the previous claim that the emission during the swoosh is not necessarily absent at low frequencies and the single pulses during a swoosh show varied behaviour at 220 MHz. We also confirm that in PSR B0919+06, the pulses during the swoosh show a chromatic dependence of the maximum offset from the normal emission phase with the offset following a consistent relationship with observing frequency. We also observe that the flux density spectrum of the radio profile during the swoosh is inverted compared to the normal emission. For PSR B1859+07, we have discovered a new mode of emission in the pulsar that is potentially quasi-periodic with a different periodicity than is seen in its swooshes. We invoke an emission model previously proposed in the literature and show that this simple model can explain the macroscopic observed characteristics in both pulsars. We also argue that pulsars that exhibit similar variability on short time-scales may have the same underlying emission mechanism. 
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  5. 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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