PerspectiveAstronomy

Finding the location of a fast radio burst

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Science  09 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6453, pp. 546-547
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay4330

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Summary

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are powerful millisecond radio pulses from faraway galaxies. The processes that cause FRBs are unknown, and although many more FRBs are found each year, it has been difficult to identify the galaxies in which they arise. Most FRBs have been detected as one-off pulses, discovered in wide-field surveys with radio telescopes that lack the spatial resolution to unambiguously identify a host galaxy. Only one FRB has previously been precisely localized (1). On page 565 of this issue, Bannister et al. report the detection of a single millisecond FRB pulse—FRB 180924, detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)—that they pinpoint precisely to its host galaxy (2). A further localized single pulse has been reported by Ravi et al. (3).

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