|13th of March 2018|
|Breakthrough Listen detection of a Fast Radio Burst|
The Breakthrough Listen team recently reported the discovery of a Fast
Radio Burst (FRB) during a Parkes observing run. The burst was
detected 2018 March 1 with the Parkes 21-cm multibeam receiver. The
FRB was detected in beam 03 of the 13-beam receiver only, with a
signal-to-noise ratio of ~16, peak flux density of ~0.5 Jy, and burst
width of ~3 ms, while observing over ~340 MHz of bandwidth centered
around 1382 MHz. The spectrum appears to be positive, i.e. brighter
at higher frequencies.
Due to the passage of radio waves through the ionized inter-stellar, and intergalactic, matter, lower frequencies arrive fractionally later than higher frequencies. This delay is characterised by the a property called the dispersion measure (DM). For this burst a DM of ~520 pc cm^-2 was measured. As the expected contribution from our Galaxy along the line of sight to be FRB is between ~150 pc cm^-2 and ~235 pc cm^-2, the higher DM supports an extragalctic origin for the FRB (consistent with all other FRBs detected to date), with an estimated redshift of ~0.2, corresponding to a distance of approximately 820 Mpc (or 2.7 billion light years).
The burst, FRB 180301, was detected during the Breakthrough Listen Galactic plane survey, using the Parkes HI-Pulsar digital system and also with the Breakthrough Listen digital backend using an independent search technique. After detection, calibration routines were run and follow-up observations continued for approximately 2 hours; no further bursts were found.