Revealing the Dynamic Magneto-ionic Environments of Repeating Fast Radio Burst Sources through Multi-year Polarimetric Monitoring with CHIME/FRB

16 Feb 2023  ·  R. Mckinven, B. M. Gaensler, D. Michilli, K. Masui, V. M. Kaspi, J. Su, M. Bhardwaj, T. Cassanelli, P. Chawla, F., Dong, E. Fonseca, C. Leung, E. Petroff, Z. Pleunis, M. Rafiei-Ravandi, I. H. Stairs, S. Tendulkar, D. Z. Li, C. Ng, C. Patel, A. B. Pearlman, M. Rahman, K. R. Sand, K. Shin ·

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) display a confounding variety of burst properties and host galaxy associations. Repeating FRBs offer insight into the FRB population by enabling spectral, temporal and polarimetric properties to be tracked over time. Here, we report on the polarized observations of 12 repeating sources using multi-year monitoring with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) over 400-800 MHz. We observe significant RM variations from many sources in our sample, including RM changes of several hundred $\rm{rad\, m^{-2}}$ over month timescales from FRBs 20181119A, 20190303A and 20190417A, and more modest RM variability ($\rm{\Delta RM \lesssim}$ few tens rad m$^{-2}$) from FRBs 20181030A, 20190208A, 20190213B and 20190117A over equivalent timescales. Several repeaters display a frequency dependent degree of linear polarization that is consistent with depolarization via scattering. Combining our measurements of RM variations with equivalent constraints on DM variability, we estimate the average line-of-sight magnetic field strength in the local environment of each repeater. In general, repeating FRBs display RM variations that are more prevalent/extreme than those seen from radio pulsars in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, suggesting repeating FRBs and pulsars occupy distinct magneto-ionic environments.

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena