Contributed Talk - Splinter RadioSky
Implications from the first MeerTRAP Fast Radio Burst sample discovered with the MeerKAT telescope
Fabian Jankowski (1); Mechiel Bezuidenhout (1); Manisha Caleb (1, 2, 3); Laura Driessen (4); Mateusz Malenta (1); Vincent Morello (1); Kaustubh Rajwade (1, 4); Sotiris Sanidas (1); Benjamin Stappers (1); Mayuresh Surnis (1); Ewan Barr (6); Marina Berezina (7, 6); Weiwei Chen (6); Michael Kramer (6, 1); Jason Wu (6); Sarah Buchner (8); Maciej Serylak (9)
(1) The University of Manchester; (2) The University of Sydney; (3) ASTRO3D; (4) CSIRO; (5) ASTRON; (6) Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie; (7) Universität Heidelberg; (8) South African Radio Astronomy Observatory; (9) The Square Kilometre Array Observatory
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are incredibly luminous radio transients of micro to millisecond duration that originate from cosmological distances at inferred redshifts of up to a few. Despite rapid progress over the last 15 years since their discovery and several hundreds of recent FRB discoveries, their physical origins remain a mystery. Many proposed theories relate them to magnetar outbursts or cataclysmic events, such as compact object mergers or stellar explosions. The field has recently been strongly driven by results from wide-field radio interferometers operated by various international collaborations. Since late 2019, our MeerTRAP team has carried out an FRB survey at the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa, a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array. In my talk, I will briefly introduce the MeerTRAP project and present the FRB sample discovered so far, amounting to about two dozen new FRBs. In particular, I will quickly discuss their sample properties, such as their observed burst morphologies, scattering and scintillation parameters and what they tell us about intervening ionised media. I will then focus on a few science highlights from the project, such as the FRB host galaxy associations, what the MeerTRAP sample implies for the FRB all-sky rate, cosmology, and proposed FRB progenitor models like the FRB - magnetar connection.