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27th of June 2023
A commensal ASKAP Fast Radio Burst
by Glowacki et al.
Glowacki et al. report on the commensal ASKAP detection of a fast radio burst (FRB), FRB 20211127I, and the detection of neutral hydrogen (HI) emission in the FRB host galaxy, WALLABY J131913–185018. This collaboration between the CRAFT and WALLABY survey teams marks the fifth, and most distant, FRB host galaxy detected in HI (not including the Milky Way). The team determine that the host galaxy has a HI mass of 6.5 billion solar masses, a HI-to-stellar mass ratio of 2.17, and that it coincides with a continuum radio source of flux density at 1.4 GHz of 1.3 mJy. The HI global spectrum of the host galaxy appears to be asymmetric and the galaxy itself appears modestly undisturbed. These properties are in contrast with HI emission detected in other FRB hosts to date, where either the HI global spectra were strongly asymmetric, or there were clearly disrupted HI intensity map distributions. There are no strong signs of a major interaction in the optical image of the host galaxy that would stimulate a burst of star formation and hence the production of putative FRB progenitors related to massive stars and their compact remnants.

The image above shows the HI intensity contour map of WALLABY J131913–185018 overlaid on a European Southern Observatory VLT (Very Large Telescope) optical image. The narrow red ellipse marks the localised position of FRB 20211127I. The ASKAP synthesized beam (with a spatial resolution of 30 arcseconds) is indicated by the white ellipse in the lower left. This work is also described in this article in The Conversation.

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