Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | 2020 Jan 06
Localisation of a new, recurring source of radio flashes deepens the mystery of their origins
The Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope participated in the European VLBI Network (EVN) to observe a repeating Fast Radio Burst (FRB) and helped to pinpoint the FRB to a spiral galaxy similar to our own. Crucial to this work was the sensitivity of the Effelsberg telescope and its flexible pulsar instrument that aided the quick radio localisation. This FRB is the closest to Earth ever localised and was found in a radically different environment to previous studies. The discovery, once again, changes researchers’ assumptions on the origins of these mysterious extragalactic events. ...
On 19th June 2019, eight telescopes from the European VLBI Network (EVN) simultaneously observed a radio source known as FRB 180916.J0158+65. This source was originally discovered in 2018 by the CHIME telescope in Canada, which enabled the team to conduct a very high resolution observation with the EVN in the direction of FRB 180916.J0158+65. During five hours of observations the researchers detected four bursts, each lasting for less than two thousandths of a second. The resolution reached through the combination of the telescopes across the globe, using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), meant that the bursts could be precisely localised to a region of approximately only seven light years across. This localisation is comparable to an individual on Earth being able to distinguish a person on the Moon. ...
With the precise position of the radio source the team was able to conduct observations with one of the world’s largest optical telescopes, the 8-m Gemini North on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Examining the environment around the source revealed that the bursts originated from a spiral galaxy named SDSS J015800.28+654253.0, located half a billion light years from Earth. The bursts come from a region of that galaxy where star formation is prominent. ...
A Fast Radio Burst Tracked Down to a Nearby Galaxy
McGill University, Quebec, Canada | 2020 Jan 06
A Repeating Fast Radio Burst from Spiral Galaxy Deepens Mystery
Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE) | 2020 Jan 06
Fast Radio Burst Observations Deepen Astronomical Mystery
NSF National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory | 2020 Jan 06
A Repeating Fast Radio Burst Source Localised to a Nearby Spiral Galaxy ~ B. Marcote et al
- Nature (online 06 Jan 2020) DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1866-z