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  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.


    The physical properties of fast radio burst (FRB) host galaxies provide important clues towards the nature of FRB sources. The 16 FRB hosts identified thus far span three orders of magnitude in mass and specific star formation rate, implicating a ubiquitously occurring progenitor object. FRBs localized with ∼arcsecond accuracy also enable effective searches for associated multiwavelength and multi-time-scale counterparts, such as the persistent radio source associated with FRB 20121102A. Here we present a localization of the repeating source FRB 20201124A, and its association with a host galaxy (SDSS J050803.48+260338.0, z = 0.098) and persistent radio source. The galaxy is massive (${\sim}3\times 10^{10}\, \text{M}_{\odot }$), star-forming (few solar masses per year), and dusty. Very Large Array and Very Long Baseline Array observations of the persistent radio source measure a luminosity of 1.2 × 1029 erg s−1 Hz−1, and show that is extended on scales ≳50 mas. We associate this radio emission with the ongoing star formation activity in SDSS J050803.48+260338.0. Deeper, high-resolution optical observations are required to better utilize the milliarcsecond-scale localization of FRB 20201124A and determine the origin of the large dispersion measure (150–220 pc cm−3) contributed by the host. SDSS J050803.48+260338.0 is an order of magnitude more massive than any galaxy or stellar system previously associated with a repeating FRB source, butmore »is comparable to the hosts of so far non-repeating FRBs, further building the link between the two apparent populations.

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