No pulsed radio emission during a bursting phase of a Galactic magnetar

Publication date: 
Main author: 
Lin L.
IAA authors: 
Castro-Tirado, A.J.;Hu, Y.D.
Lin L., Zhang C.F., Wang P., Gao H., Guan X., Han J.L., Jiang J.C., Jiang P., Lee K.J., Li D., Men Y.P., Miao C.C., Niu C.H., Niu J.R., Sun C., Wang B.J., Wang Z.L., Xu H., Xu J.L., Xu J.W., Yang Y.H., Yang Y.P., Yu W., Zhang B., Zhang B.-B., Zhou D.J., Zhu W.W., Castro-Tirado A.J., Dai Z.G., Ge M.Y., Hu Y.D., Li C.K., Li Y., Li Z., Liang E.W., Jia S.M., Querel R., Shao L., Wang F.Y., Wang X.G., Wu X.F., Xiong S.L., Xu R.X., Yang Y.-S., Zhang G.Q., Zhang S.N., Zheng T.C., Zou J.-H.
Publication type: 
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration radio transients of unknown physical origin observed at extragalactic distances1–3. It has long been speculated that magnetars are the engine powering repeating bursts from FRB sources4–13, but no convincing evidence has been collected so far14. Recently, the Galactic magnetar SRG 1935+2154 entered an active phase by emitting intense soft γ-ray bursts15. One FRB-like event with two peaks (FRB 200428) and a luminosity slightly lower than the faintest extragalactic FRBs was detected from the source, in association with a soft γ-ray/hard-X-ray flare18–21. Here we report an eight-hour targeted radio observational campaign comprising four sessions and assisted by multi-wavelength (optical and hard-X-ray) data. During the third session, 29 soft-γ-ray repeater (SGR) bursts were detected in γ-ray energies. Throughout the observing period, we detected no single dispersed pulsed emission coincident with the arrivals of SGR bursts, but unfortunately we were not observing when the FRB was detected. The non-detection places a fluence upper limit that is eight orders of magnitude lower than the fluence of FRB 200428. Our results suggest that FRB–SGR burst associations are rare. FRBs may be highly relativistic and geometrically beamed, or FRB-like events associated with SGR bursts may have narrow spectra and characteristic frequencies outside the observed band. It is also possible that the physical conditions required to achieve coherent radiation in SGR bursts are difficult to satisfy, and that only under extreme conditions could an FRB be associated with an SGR burst. © 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
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