Fast Radio Bursts seen by ASKAP
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) has started operations and immediately detected three Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). With only ~30 FRBs detected so far and over several years, detecting 3 new ones within a few days promises a wealth of observations in the future. For the moment the bursts have 'only' been detected in the primary beam of the telescopes (see figure below), but once interferometry between several telescopes pointing in the same direction is used, the pointing accuracy will improve to arcsecond levels. The paper describing one of the detected FRBs can be found here. A summary is also given in this nice article.
Hopefully ASKAP (and later SKA) will be able to detect the burst during observations and emit online alerts to follow-up instruments. I am already looking forward to extending the H.E.S.S. FRB program from Parkes to SKA/ASKAP alerts. See FRB follow-up with H.E.S.S. for details about my recent work on this.
Radio image of the sky where ASKAP found its first FRB. The blue circles are the 36 patches of the sky that ASKAP antenna number 5 was watching at the time the FRB was detected. The red smudge marks where the FRB came from. The black dots are galaxies. The full Moon is shown to scale, in the bottom corner. Ian Heywood (CSIRO), from The Conversation
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