Sub-second periodicity in a fast radio burst

18 Jul 2021  ·  The CHIME/FRB Collaboration, Bridget C. Andersen, Kevin Bandura, Mohit Bhardwaj, P. J. Boyle, Charanjot Brar, Daniela Breitman, Tomas Cassanelli, Shami Chatterjee, Pragya Chawla, Jean-François Cliche, Davor Cubranic, Alice P. Curtin, Meiling Deng, Matt Dobbs, Fengqiu Adam Dong, Emmanuel Fonseca, B. M. Gaensler, Utkarsh Giri, Deborah C. Good, Alex S. Hill, Alexander Josephy, J. F. Kaczmarek, Zarif Kader, Joseph Kania, Victoria M. Kaspi, Calvin Leung, D. Z. Li, Hsiu-Hsien Lin, Kiyoshi W. Masui, Ryan Mckinven, Juan Mena-Parra, Marcus Merryfield, B. W. Meyers, D. Michilli, Arun Naidu, Laura Newburgh, C. Ng, Anna Ordog, Chitrang Patel, Aaron B. Pearlman, Ue-Li Pen, Emily Petroff, Ziggy Pleunis, Masoud Rafiei-Ravandi, Mubdi Rahman, Scott Ransom, Andre Renard, Pranav Sanghavi, Paul Scholz, J. Richard Shaw, Kaitlyn Shin, Seth R. Siegel, Saurabh Singh, Kendrick Smith, Ingrid Stairs, Chia Min Tan, Shriharsh P. Tendulkar, Keith Vanderlinde, D. V. Wiebe, Dallas Wulf, Andrew Zwaniga ·

The origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs), millisecond-duration flashes of radio waves that are visible at distances of billions of light-years, remains an open astrophysical question. Here we report the detection of the multi-component FRB 20191221A with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB), and the identification of a periodic separation of 216.8(1) ms between its components with a significance of 6.5 sigmas... The long (~ 3 s) duration and nine or more components forming the pulse profile make this source an outlier in the FRB population. We also report two additional FRBs, 20210206A and 20210213A, whose multi-component pulse profiles show some indication of periodic separations of 2.8(1) and 10.7(1) ms, respectively, suggesting the possible existence of a group of FRBs with complex and periodic pulse profiles. Such short periodicities provide strong evidence for a neutron-star origin of these events. Moreover, our detections favour emission arising from the neutron-star magnetosphere, as opposed to emission regions located further away from the star, as predicted by some models. Possible explanations for the observed periodicity include super-giant pulses from a neutron star that are possibly related to a magnetar outburst and interacting neutron stars in a binary system. read more

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena