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The low density and magnetization of a massive galaxy halo exposed by a fast radio burst

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Science  11 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6462, pp. 231-234
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0073

Probing a galaxy halo with a radio burst

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond flashes of radio emission from distant galaxies. It has only recently become possible to locate single bursts precisely enough to determine the host galaxy. Prochaska et al. have observed and localized a FRB using a radio interferometer. The line of sight to the host galaxy coincidentally passes through the outskirts of a closer foreground galaxy. By analyzing the propagation of the FRB, the authors put constraints on the density and magnetization of gas in the outskirts of the foreground galaxy. The technique provides complementary information to existing methods using background quasars.

Science, this issue p. 231

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