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25th of February 2016
The host galaxy of a Fast Radio Burst
For the first time a team of scientists has tracked down the location of a fast radio burst (FRB), confirming that these short but spectacular flashes of radio waves originate in the distant Universe. The breakthrough, published today in the journal Nature (Keane et al. 2016), was made using CSIRO radio telescopes in eastern Australia and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's Subaru telescope in Hawaii.

In the paper, the authors show that the FRB originated from a host galaxy around six billion light-years away. The combination of the dispersion measure of the FRB and the optical redshift allows the baryon fraction to be determined including the so-called "missing baryons". In addition, a radio afterglow lasting 6 days was seen, constraining progenitor models.

The figure (taken from the paper) shows a WISE image with the Parkes multibeam pattern superimposed. Then the zoom-ins show the WISE, Subaru fields and finally the galaxy identified by Subaru coincidental with the radio galaxy seen with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA).

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