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Giant Sparks at Cosmological Distances?

Kulkarni, S. R. and Ofek, E. O. and Neill, J. D. and Zheng, Z. and Juric, M. (2014) Giant Sparks at Cosmological Distances? Astrophysical Journal, 797 (1). Art. No. 70. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Millisecond-duration bright radio pulses at 1.4 GHz with high dispersion measures (DMs) were reported by Lorimer et al., Keane et al., and Thornton et al. Their all-sky rate is ≈10^4 day^(–1) above ~1 Jy. Related events are "Perytons"—similar pulsed, dispersed sources, but most certainly local. Suggested models of fast radio bursts (FRBs) can originate in Earth's atmosphere, in stellar coronae, in other galaxies, and even at cosmological distances. Using physically motivated assumptions combined with observed properties, we explore these models. In our analysis, we focus on the Lorimer event: a 30 Jy, 5 ms duration burst with DM = 375 cm^(–3) pc, exhibiting a steep frequency-dependent pulse width (the Sparker). To be complete, we drop the assumption that high DMs are produced by plasma propagation and assume that the source produces pulses with frequency-dependent arrival time ("chirped signals"). Within this framework, we explore a scenario in which Perytons, the Sparker, and the FRBs are all atmospheric phenomena occurring at different heights. This model is ad hoc in that we cannot explain why Perytons at higher altitudes show greater DMs or exhibit narrower pulses. Nonetheless, we argue that the Sparker may be a Peryton. We end with two remarks. First, the detection of a single FRB by an interferometer with a kilometer (or longer) baseline will prove that FRBs are of extraterrestrial origin. Second, we urge astronomers to pursue observations and understanding of Perytons since they form (at least) a formidable foreground for the FRBs.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Neill, J. D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Juric, M.0000-0003-1996-9252
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 February 28; accepted 2014 September 23; published 2014 November 25. S.R.K. thanks the hospitality of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The sylvan surroundings and verdant intellectual ambiance of IAS resulted in a fecund mini-sabbatical stay (Fall 2007). We are grateful to M. Bailes, S. Burke-Spolaor, and D. Lorimer for sharing with us the details of the Parkes multibeam Survey. We thank M. Putman and S. Stanimirovic for help with the Hi data on the SMC and S. B. Cenko, D.B. Fox, and J. Kanner for discussions about X-ray transients. We gratefully acknowledge C. Hirata for careful reading, feedback, and instructions of basic physics and P. Kumar and J.-P. Macquart for discussions about relativistic flows. We thank J. Cordes for sharing his ideas about detection strategies. We acknowledge useful discussions with D. Bhattacharya, G. Bower, Y.-H. Chu, J. Condon, D. A. Frail, P. M. Goldreich, A. Gruzinov, G. Hallinan, C. Heiles, E. S. Phinney, S. Thorsett, D. Q. Wang, and E. Witten. We especially thank Y. Cao, S. Tendulkar, and M. H. van Kerkwijk for a careful reading of the paper. We acknowledge robust discussions with authors of several recent papers attempting to explain the origin of FRBs: H. Falcke, J. I. Katz, A. Loeb, P. M´esz´aros, T. Totani, and B. Zhang. Finally, we thank the anonymous referee, whose thorough reading and thoughtful comments helped to improve the paper. E.O.O. is incumbent of the Arye Dissentshik career development chair and is grateful to support by grants from the Willner Family Leadership Institute Ilan Gluzman (Secaucus, NJ), Israeli Ministry of Science, Israel Science Foundation, Minerva and the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, and The Israel Science Foundation. This work is supported in part by grants from NSF and NASA. We gratefully acknowledge the use of the following archives: Southern Hα Sky Survey, UK Schmidt Surveys, the Digital Sky Survey, GALEX, and the ATNF Pulsar catalog. As usual, the authors are indebted to the librarians who maintain ADS and Simbad. Z.Z. was partially supported by NSF grant AST- 1208891 and NASA grant NNX14AC89G. M.J. acknowledges the support of the Washington Research Foundation through its Data Science Chair and the University of Washington Provost’s Initiative in Data-Intensive Discovery.
Group:Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Willner Family Leadership Institute Ilan GluzmanUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science (Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
Washington Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: individual (SMC); ISM: general; pulsars: general; radio continuum: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140303-141859375
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Giant Sparks at Cosmological Distances? S. R. Kulkarni et al. 2014 ApJ 797 70
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44099
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:03 Mar 2014 22:47
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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