FRB Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 15 — November 2020

Total FRB count: 137
Repeaters: 22
Host galaxies: 13

From the editors:

We are deeply saddened by the news that the US National Science Foundation has concluded, after reports from on-site inspections, that there is no safe way to repair the iconic Arecibo Observatory, and that they are now looking at decommissioning options. Many of us working on FRBs had formative experiences at the observatory and have many fond memories, and Arecibo observations have led to many basic results for FRBs and astronomy in general. This is a great loss for the scientists and staff on site, the people of Puerto Rico, and astronomers everywhere.

Papers of interest

Host Galaxies and Localizations
  • The 60-pc Environment of FRB 20180916B; Tendulkar et al., arXiv: 2011.03257
Observational Results
  • Implications of the Lowest Frequency Detection of the Persistent Counterpart of FRB121102; Resmi, Vink & Ishwara-Chandra, arXiv:2010.14334
  • A Shared Law Between Sources of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts; Chamma et al., arXiv: 2010.14041
  • Diverse Polarization Angle Swings from a Repeating Fast Radio Burst Source; Luo et al., Nature: s41586-020-2827-2; arXiv: 2011.00171
  • Deep Optical Observations Contemporaneous with Emission from the Periodic FRB 180916.J0158+65; Kilpatrick et al., arXiv: 2011.07561
  • Diverse Polarization Angle Swings from a Repeating Fast Radio Burst Source; Luo et al., Nature: s41586-020-2827-2, arXiv: 2011.00171
  • Periodic Structure in the FRB 121102 Spectra; Levkov, Panin & Tkachev, arXiv: 2010.15145
  • The Search for Fast Transients with CZTI; Sharma et al., arXiv: 2011.07067

    "...highly competitive upper limits on X-ray emissions from gravitational wave sources and fast radio bursts."

Theory and Modeling
  • Repeating Fast Radio Bursts from Pulsar-Asteroid Belt Collisions: Frequency Drifting and Polarization; Ze-Nan Liu, Wei-Yang Wang, Yuan-Pei Yang & Zi-Gao Dai, arXiv: 2010.14379
  • Fast Radio Burst Dispersion Measure Distribution as a Probe of Helium Reionization; Bhattacharya, Kumar & Linder, arXiv: 2010.14530
  • The Dispersion Measure and Scattering of FRBs: Contributions from the Intergalactic Medium, Foreground Halos, and Hosts; Weishan Zhu, Long-Long Feng, arXiv: 2011.08519
  • Emission of Magnetar Bursts and Precursors of Neutron Star Mergers; Beloborodov, arXiv: 2011.07310
  • On the Energy and Redshift Distributions of Fast Radio Bursts; Rachel C. Zhang, Bing Zhang, Ye Li & Duncan R. Lorimer, arXiv: 2011.06151
  • On the Non-detection of Circular Polarisation from Repeating Fast Radio Bursts; Shi Dai et al., arXiv: 2011.03960
  • The Physical Mechanisms of Fast Radio Bursts; Bing Zhang, Nature review article: s41586-020-2828-1, arXiv: 2011.03500
  • Fast Radio Bursts: Do Repeaters and Non-Repeaters Originate in Statistically Similar Ensembles; Xiang-Han Cui et al., arXiv: 2011.01339
  • Relativistic Alfven Waves Entering Charge Starvation in the Magnetospheres of Neutron Stars; Chen, Yuan, Beloborodov & Li, arXiv: 2010.15619

    "Our results imply that dissipation due to charge starvation is not sufficient to power observed fast radio bursts (FRBs), in contrast to recent proposals."

  • "Slow" Radio Bursts from Galactic Magnetars?; Zhang, arXiv: 2011.09921
Algorithms and Instrumentation
  • Estimating Fast Transient Detection Pipeline Efficiencies at UTMOST via Real-Time Injection of Mock FRBs; Gupta et al., arXiv: 2011.10191
Terrestrial Interference
  • A High-Rate Foreground of Sub-Second Flares from Geosynchronous Satellites; Nir et al., arXiv: 2011.03497

    "... such glints are common in large area surveys (e.g., ZTF and LSST), and ... some of them would have a point-like appearance, confounding searches for fast transients such as Fast Radio Burst counterparts."

  • Orbital Foregrounds for Ultra-Short Duration Transients; Corbett et al., arXiv: 2011.02495
  • A Search for Technosignatures around 31 Sun-like Stars with the Green Bank Telescope at 1.15-1.73 GHz; Margot et al., arXiv: 2011.05265

    "We also improved the direction-of-origin filters that remove most radio frequency interference (RFI) to ensure that they uniquely link signals observed in separate scans."

SGR 1935+2154 and other relevant mangetar results
  • Double-Peaked Pulse Profile of FRB 200428: Synchrotron Maser from Magnetized Shocks Encountering a Density Jump; Di Xiao, Zi-Gao Dai, arXiv: 2010.14787
  • The New Magnetar Swift J1830.7-0645 in Outburst; Coti Zelati et al., arXiv: 2011.08653
  • X-ray and Radio Bursts from the Magnetar 1E1547.0-5408; Israel et al., arXiv: 2011.06607
From the Astronomer's Telegram
  • The BSA LPI radio telescope reports a detection of SGR 1935+2154 at 111 MHz on 2020-09-02 with a S/N of 6.6 and a DM of 310 +/- 10 pc/cm^3. They estimate that the source was detected in a sidelobe and place a lower fluence limit on the burst of 300 Jy ms (ATel 14186).
  • Searches for pulsed radio emission from SGR 1935+2154 were conducted at the GBT at 800 MHz for 1h11m and 2 GHz for 1h45m on 16 October, following the CHIME/FRB reported detection on 8 October. Upper limits are reported (ATel 14151).
  • YOUR: Your Unified Reader. A Python-based library that unifies the data processing across multiple commonly used formats. Your implements a user-friendly interface to read and write in the data format of choice. It also generates unified metadata corresponding to the input data file for a quick understanding of observation parameters and provides utilities to perform common data analysis operations. Your also provides several state-of-the-art radio frequency interference mitigation (RFI) algorithms, which can now be used during any stage of data processing (reading, writing, etc.) to filter out artificial signals. Aggarwal et al., arXiv: 2011.07627).
Recent online talks of interest

Most talks and meetings are online for now, and many are available as recorded versions, so we are trying out a provisional section for public recorded talks. We welcome your feedback, and pointers to other talks of interest.
  • Kasper Heintz, "Host Galaxy Properties and Offsets of Fast Radio Bursts", 18 November, 2020, CHIME/FRB Journal Club

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.