FRB Newsletter Issue 10 — June 2020

Total FRB count: 126
Repeaters: 21

From the editors:

Our round-up of Fast Radio Burst news this month leads off with a paper by J.-P. Macquart et al., which presents new FRB host galaxy localizations from ASKAP and constructs the first pass at an observational relationship between FRB dispersion measures and host galaxy redshifts. It is with heavy hearts that we report the unexpected and untimely passing of J.-P., our friend and colleague, only a short while after this paper was published in Nature. An obituary by his friends and collaborators is included at the end of this newsletter, along with a proposal to name the relationship between FRB DM and redshift in his honor.

Papers of interest

Host Galaxies and Localizations
  • A Census of Baryons in the Universe from Localized Fast Radio Bursts; Macquart et al., arXiv:2005.13161; Nature DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2300-2
    • Related News and Views discussion by Michael Shull; "Intergalactic sleuthing with cosmic radio bursts", Nature DOI:10.1038/s41550-020-1116-1
  • The Host Galaxies and Progenitors of Fast Radio Bursts Localised with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder; Bhandari et al., arXiv:2005.13160
  • Dissecting the Local Environment of FRB 190608 in the Spiral Arm of its Host Galaxy; Chittidi et al., arXiv:2005.13158
  • Disentangling the Cosmic Web Towards FRB 190608; Simha et al., arXiv:2005.13157
Observational Results
  • High Time Resolution and Polarisation Properties of ASKAP-Localised Fast Radio Bursts; Day et al., arXiv:2005.13162
  • A Search for Supernova-Like Optical Counterparts to ASKAP-Localised Fast Radio Bursts; Marnoch et al., arXiv:2005.13159
  • Periodic Activity From a Fast Radio Burst Source; The CHIME/FRB Collaboration, revised and updated, now in Nature, DOI:10.1038/s41586-020-2398-2, arXiv:2001.10275
  • A Demonstration of Extremely Low Latency Gamma-ray, X-ray & UV Follow-up of a Millisecond Radio Transient; Tohuvavohu et al., arXiv:2006.04550
  • Simultaneous Multi-Telescope Observations of FRB 121102; Caleb et al., arXiv:2006.08662
  • VLA/realfast Detection of Burst from FRB 180916.J0158+65 and Tests for Periodic Activity; Aggarwal et al., arXiv:2006.10513
Theory and Modeling
  • Dispersion Measure Components within Host Galaxies of Fast Radio Bursts: Observational Constraints from Statistical Properties of FRBs; Yuu Niino, arXiv:2005.12891
  • Applying Saliency-Map Analysis in Searches for Pulsars and Fast Radio Burts; Zhang et al, arXiv:2005.11066
  • Cosmological Parameter Estimation for Dynamical Dark Energy Models with Future Fast Radio Burst Observations; Ze-Wei Zhao et al., arXiv:2006.01450
  • Periodically Repeating Fast Radio Bursts: Lense-Thirring Precession of a Debris Disk? Wen-Cong Chen, arXiv:2006.01552
  • Pair Separation in Parallel Electric Field of a Magnetar Magnetosphere and Narrow Spectra of Fast Radio Bursts; Yuan-Pei Yang Jin-Ping Zhu, Bing Zhang, Xue-Feng Wu, arXiv:2006.03270
  • A Quantitative Assessment of Communicating Extra-Terrestrial Intelligent Civilizations in the Galaxy and the Case of FRB-like Signals; Bing Zhang, arXiv:2006.08493
  • Combined Limit on the Photon Mass with Nine Localized Fast Radio Bursts; Jun-Jie Wei & Xue-Feng Wu, arXiv:2006.09680
  • What Binary Systems are the Most Likely Sources for Periodically Repeating FRBs? Xianfei Zhang & He Gao, arXiv:2006.10328
  • Constraining He II Reionization Detection Uncertainties via Fast Radio Bursts; Lau, Mitra, Shafiee & Smoot, arXiv:2006.11072
  • The Synchrotron Maser Emission from Relativistic Magnetized Shocks: Dependence on the Pre-shock Temperature; Babul & Sironi, arXiv:2006.03081
  • Origin of Sources of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts with Periodicity in Close Binary Systems; Popov, arXiv:2006.13037
Algorithms and Instrumentation
  • The SiTian Project; JiFeng Liu, Roberto Soria, Xue-Feng Wu, Hong Wu, Zhaohui Shang, arXiv:2006.01844
  • Magnetism Science with the Square Kilometre Array; Heald et al. (the SKA Magnetism Science Working Group), arXiv:2006.03172
SGR 1935+2154
  • Identification of a Non-Thermal X-ray Burst with the Galactic Magnetar SGR 1935+2154 and a Fast Radio Burst with Insight-HXMT; Li et al., arXiv:2005.11071
  • A Peculiar Hard X-ray Counterpart of a Galactic Fast Radio Burst; Ridnaia et al., arXiv:2005.11178
  • Stringent Upper Limits on Pulsed Radio Emission During an Active Bursting Phase of the Galactic Magnetar SGR J1935+2154; Lin et al., arXiv:2005.11479
  • An X-ray Burst from a Magnetar Enlightening the Mechanism of Fast Radio Bursts; Tavani et al., arXiv:2005.12164
  • A Magnetar-Asteroid Impact Model for FRB 200428 Associated with an X-ray Burst from SGR 1935+2154; Dai, arXiv:2005.12048
  • On the Distance of SGR 1935+2154 Associated with FRB 200428; Zhong, Dai, Zhang & Deng; arXiv:2005.11109
  • Revisiting the Confrontation of the Shock-Powered Synchrotron Maser Model with the Galactic FRB 200428; Yun-Wei Yu, Yuan-Chuan Zou, Zi-Gao Dai & Wen-Fai Yu, arXiv:2006.00484
  • The X-ray Reactivation of the Radio Bursting Magnetar SGR 1935+2154; Borghese et al., arXiv:2006.00215
  • The FRB-SGR Connection; Katz, arXiv:2006.03468
  • FRB 200428: An Impact Between an Asteroid and a Magnetar; Jin-Jun Geng et al., arXiv:2006.04601
  • Plasmoid Ejection by Alfven Waves and the Fast Radio Bursts from SGR 1935+2154; Yuan, Beloborodov, Chen & Levin, arXiv:2006.04649
  • A Variable X-ray Source Close to the Magnetar SGR 1935+2154; Kong, Li, Kim & Hui, arXiv:2006.06407
  • A Possible Polar Origin for the FRB Associated with a Galactic Magnetar; Younes et al., arXiv:2006.11358
  • Scintillation Can Explain the Spectral Structure of the Bright Radio Burst from SGR 1935+2154; Simard & Ravi, arXiv:2006.13184
From the Astronomer's Telegram
  • FRB 200607 was found at UTMOST in real-time using an automated GPU-accelerated/machine learning-based pipeline, with a DM of 466 pc/cc and a fluence of ~51.4 Jy-ms (ATel 13788). This burst was subsequently followed up at optical wavelengths, by the MASTER robotic telescope, and upper limits are reported (ATel 13793).
  • Four bursts from FRB 180916.J0158+65 have been observed with the uGMRT between 300 and 500 MHz on 23-24 March, 2020 (ATel 13781).
  • Continued radio monitoring of SGR 1935+2154 has been reported this month. Searches are reported with MWA radio imaging (ATel 13816), uGMRT both imaging and time domain (ATels 13773, 13778, 13799), EVN imaging (ATel 13786), and Arecibo and GBT time domain (ATel 13769). A marginal detection of radio pulsations is reported by the Medicina Northern Cross (ATel 13783).
Upcoming meetings and conferences

FRB2020: The in-person conference has been cancelled and the meeting will instead be held remotely during the week of 6 July, 2020. The revised talk schedule has been posted here and there will be sessions over multiple time zones. Talks will be live streamed and those interested in tuning in can register for free on the conference website.

Compact Objects and Energetic Phenomena in the Multi-Messenger Era: This meeting has been converted to a fully-virtual mini-conference on 14-15 July 2020. The agenda and (free) registration is available at this event page.

General news

The journal Universe (IF=2.2) has announced a special issue on FRBs (guest editors Marta Burgay and Sergei Popov) to focus on recent observational and theoretical results. Papers on multi-messenger observations, usage of FRBs as probes, emission mechanisms, and population studies of these transients are especially welcome. More information at this link.

Obituary: J.-P. Macquart

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden passing of Associate Professor Jean-Pierre (J.-P.) Macquart.

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, J.-P. also undertook his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Sydney. He completed his PhD in 2000 on the physics of pulsars and quasar scintillation under the supervision of Don Melrose. He undertook postdoctoral positions at the Kapteyn Institute in the Netherlands, and at Caltech, USA as a National Radio Astronomy Observatory Jansky Fellow, before returning to the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in 2008.

J.-P. was an exceptional theorist, with a strong preference for analytical results over computer simulation. He was equally comfortable with the observational side of astronomy and used observations to glean great physical insight from data. Over his career he published more than 100 papers on the theory and analysis of radio sources and propagation including radio polarisation, scintillation, transients, and very long baseline interferometry.

Much of his recent work was as a principal investigator of the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transient (CRAFT) survey, which uses the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) to detect and accurately localise fast radio bursts. J.-P. championed the CRAFT project consistently since its inception, believing in the power of ASKAP to find and localise fast radio bursts, and in their use as tools for cosmology and to study the intergalactic medium. His work culminated in his final paper, "A census of baryons in the Universe from localized fast radio bursts"", published in Nature eleven days before his passing, which presented the detection of the entire baryonic matter density of the Universe using fast radio bursts. In a separate document, we will propose to refer to the relationship that reflects this discovery as the Macquart relation.

J.-P. had an energetic presence, boundless enthusiasm, and sharp scientific insights. He was never afraid of a robust scientific discussion, enjoyed making provocative assertions in scientific talks, and was always ready with a humorous catchphrase or bon mot. He also had a taste for the finer things in life, including good wine, fast bikes and his beloved Porsche.

J.-P. will be sorely missed as a scientist, collaborator, mentor, and friend. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

— Keith Bannister and Ryan Shannon on behalf of J.-P.'s friends, collaborators, and colleagues

Do you have an item for future newsletters? Please send these via email to the editors (Emily and Shami) to be included in an upcoming issue.