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12th of June 2020
A search for optical counterparts to ASKAP Fast Radio Bursts
by Lachlan Marnoch
The origin of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) remains a mystery in part due to the difficulty in localising FRBs to their host galaxies. Accurate localisations provided by ASKAP are starting to give the opportunity for multiwavelength studies of the host galaxies and potential transient counterparts. Marnoch et al. have recently investigated whether the first three FRBs accurately localised by ASKAP have supernova-like transient counterparts. They obtained two images with ESO's Very Large Telescope for three host galaxies, one soon after the burst detection and one several months later. After subtracting these images no optical counterparts were identified in the associated FRB host galaxies, with limits placed on the brightness of any potential optical transients.

The image above left is the first epoch VLT g-band image for FRB190102, with the right-hand image being the difference image resulting from the subtraction of the second epoch from the first. Red ellipses show the uncertainty on the FRB position. The colour bar shows the pixel values of the difference image, in units of standard deviation from the mean. More details are given in the paper by Marnoch et al., to be published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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