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Published June 1, 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Deep Synoptic Array Science: Two Fast Radio Burst Sources in Massive Galaxy Clusters


The hot gas that constitutes the intracluster medium (ICM) has been studied at X-ray and millimeter/submillimeter wavelengths (Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect) for decades. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) offer an additional method of directly measuring the ICM and gas surrounding clusters via observables such as dispersion measure (DM) and Faraday rotation measure. We report the discovery of two FRB sources detected with the Deep Synoptic Array whose host galaxies belong to massive galaxy clusters. In both cases, the FRBs exhibit excess extragalactic DM, some of which likely originate in the ICM of their respective clusters. FRB 20220914A resides in the galaxy cluster A2310 at z = 0.1125 with a projected offset from the cluster center of 520 ± 50 kpc. The host of a second source, FRB 20220509G, is an elliptical galaxy at z = 0.0894 that belongs to the galaxy cluster A2311 at the projected offset of 870 ± 50 kpc. These sources represent the first time an FRB has been localized to a galaxy cluster. We combine our FRB data with archival X-ray, Sunyaev–Zel'dovich (SZ), and optical observations of these clusters in order to infer properties of the ICM, including a measurement of gas temperature from DM and ySZ of 0.8–3.9 keV. We then compare our results to massive cluster halos from the IllustrisTNG simulation. Finally, we describe how large samples of localized FRBs from future surveys will constrain the ICM, particularly beyond the virial radius of clusters.

Additional Information

© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. The authors thank staff members of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory and the Caltech radio group, including Kristen Bernasconi, Stephanie Cha-Ramos, Sarah Harnach, Tom Klinefelter, Lori McGraw, Corey Posner, Andres Rizo, Michael Virgin, Scott White, and Thomas Zentmyer. Their tireless efforts were instrumental to the success of the DSA-110. The DSA-110 is supported by the National Science Foundation Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP) under grant AST-1836018. We acknowledge use of the VLA calibrator manual and the radio fundamental catalog. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank Ryuichi Takahashi and Weiwei Xu for helpful discussions and materials related to their overlapping work. We also thank Nicholas Battaglia for useful discussion. Facilities: Keck:I (LRIS) - , Keck:II (ESI) - . Software: astropy, CASA, frb, heimdall, lpipe, pPXF, Prospector, wsclean.

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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023