Fast radio burst pinpointed to distant galaxy

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are among the most enigmatic and powerful events in the cosmos. Around 80 of these events—intensely bright millisecond-long bursts of radio waves coming from beyond our galaxy—have been witnessed so far, but their causes remain unknown.

    In a rare feat, researchers at Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) have now caught a new burst, called FRB 190523, and, together with the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, have pinpointed its origins to a galaxy 7.9 billion light-years away. Identifying the galaxies from which these radio bursts erupt is a critical step toward solving the mystery of what triggers them.

    A paper about the discovery appears online July 2 in Nature.

    Before this new discovery, only one other burst, called FRB 121102, had been localized to a host galaxy. FRB 121102 was reported in 2014 and then later, in 2017, was pinpointed to a galaxy lying 3 billion light-years away. Recently, a second localized FRB was announced on June 27, 2019. Called FRB 180924, this burst was discovered by a team using the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder and traced to a galaxy about 4 billion light-years away.
    more at link........

    the paper:

    A fast radio burst localized to a massive galaxy:

    Intense, millisecond-duration bursts of radio waves (named fast radio bursts) have been detected from beyond the Milky Way1. Their dispersion measures indicate extragalactic origins, which are greater than expected for propagation through the Milky Way interstellar medium alone, and imply contributions from the intergalactic medium and potentially host galaxies2. Although several theories exist for the sources of these fast radio bursts, their intensities, durations and temporal structures suggest coherent emission from highly magnetized plasma3,4. Two sources have been observed to repeat5,6, and one repeater (FRB 121102) has been localized to the largest star-forming region of a dwarf galaxy at a cosmological redshift of 0.19 (refs. 7,8). The host galaxies and distances of the so far non-repeating fast radio bursts, however, are yet to be identified. Unlike repeating sources, these events must be observed with an interferometer with sufficient spatial resolution for arcsecond localization at the time of discovery. Here we report the localization of a fast radio burst (FRB 190523) to a few-arcsecond region containing a single massive galaxy at a redshift of 0.66. This galaxy is different from the host of FRB 121102, as it is a thousand times more massive, with a specific star-formation rate a hundred times lower.

Share This Page