University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Institute of Astronomy Colloquia > The repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102: a long time ago in a galaxy far-far away

The repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102: a long time ago in a galaxy far-far away

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Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration radio flashes, whose large dispersion measures suggest that they originate at extragalactic distances in extremely energetic environments. Using the 305-m Arecibo telescope, we have discovered that FRB 121102 sporadically produces repeat bursts. This immediately rules out the various cataclysmic models – at least for this particular FRB - and has enabled deep, multi-wavelength follow-up observations. In these follow-up observations we have localized the source to sub-arcsecond precision and have unambiguously identified its host: a dwarf galaxy at z = 0.19. We have also associated FRB 121102 with a compact, persistent radio source apparently offset from the host galaxy’s optical center of light. I will present our latest understanding of FRB 121102 and its relevance for interpreting the FRB phenomenon in general.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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