Fast Radio Bursts in the Local Universe
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are millisecond bursts of GHz frequency radio emission of extragalactic origin, and their progenitors are hotly debated. They are typically observed from distant galaxies. However, the Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) is designed to find FRBs that originate from our own galaxy.
STARE2 consists of three stations located at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex (GDSCC), and near the town of Delta, UT. The purpose of having multiple stations is the filter out radio frequency interference, ensure robust claims of detection, and provide some localization. It has sensitivity to approximately a quarter of the sky and is sensitive to 1 ms radio bursts >300 kJy.
On April 28th, 2020 we detected FRB 200428 (=ST 200428A) with all three stations. This burst had a fluence of 1.5 MJy ms, implying that its energy is similar to that of extragalactic FRBs. This is the first FRB detected in the Milky Way. More interestingly, it is associated with the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154. This is direct evidence that magnetars produce the FRBs we see at extragalactic distances.
Fast radio transient phase space.