Toward an FRB Progenitor: Elucidating the FRB-AGN Connection with Chandra

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The discovery of the first fast radio burst (FRB) in 2007 opened a new frontier in the field of time-domain astrophysics. However, despite nearly 500 FRBs detected to date,, the physical origins of FRBs remain a mystery. This is in large part due to the small number of precise localizations, and hence the lack of redshift measurements through host galaxy associations. Nevertheless, this small population of well-localized FRBs is invaluable as it enables follow-up observations at other wavelengths, providing some of the strongest constraints on the most likely progenitor channel(s) of FRBs. With this Chandra program, we will obtain X-ray observations of a volume-limited sample of FRB host galaxies to probe the presence of active galactic nuclei (AGN). These observations will be used to (i) discern the origin of the hard radiation fields observed in FRB hosts, (ii) provide an important baseline to constrain the observed AGN fraction in FRB host galaxies, and (iii) place constraints on FRB progenitor models. Upgrades in multiple FRB experiments will contribute to an exponential rise in the FRB discovery rate. Understanding the AGN fraction in FRB host galaxies, as well as pinpointing the dominant source of ionizing radiation prevalent in the hosts, will provide new insight into the stellar populations that should ultimately drive FRB production.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date2/1/221/31/23

Funding

  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (GO2-23068X//NAS8-03060)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (GO2-23068X//NAS8-03060)

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