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The recent increase in well-localised fast radio bursts (FRBs) has facilitated in-depth studies of global FRB host properties, the source circumburst medium, and the potential impacts of these environments on the burst properties. The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) has localised 11 FRBs with sub-arcsecond to arcsecond precision, leading to sub-galaxy localisation regions in some cases and those covering much of the host galaxy in others. The method used to astrometrically register the FRB image frame for ASKAP, in order to align it with images taken at other wavelengths, is currently limited by the brightness of continuum sources detected in the short-duration (‘snapshot’) voltage data captured by the Commensal Real-Time ASKAP Fast Transients (CRAFT) software correlator, which are used to correct for any frame offsets due to imperfect calibration solutions and estimate the accuracy of any required correction. In this paper, we use dedicated observations of bright, compact radio sources in the low- and mid-frequency bands observable by ASKAP to investigate the typical astrometric accuracy of the positions obtained using this so-called ‘snapshot’ technique. Having captured these data with both the CRAFT software and ASKAP hardware correlators, we also compare the offset distributions obtained from both data products to estimate a typical offset between the image frames resulting from the differing processing paths, laying the groundwork for future use of the longer duration, higher signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) data recorded by the hardware correlator. We find typical offsets between the two frames of
arcsec in the low- and mid-band data, respectively, for both RA and Dec. We also find reasonable agreement between our offset distributions and those of the published FRBs. We detect only a weak dependence in positional offset on the relative separation in time and elevation between target and calibrator scans, with the trends being more pronounced in the low-band data and in Dec. Conversely, the offsets show a clear dependence on frequency in the low band, which we compare to the frequency-dependent Dec. offsets found in FRB 200430. In addition, we present a refined methodology for estimating the overall astrometric accuracy of CRAFT FRBs.
Light curves of photospheric radius expansion (PRE) bursts, a subset of type I X-ray bursts, have been used as standard candles to estimate the ‘nominal PRE distances’ for 63% of PRE bursters (bursters), assuming PRE burst emission is spherically symmetric. Model-independent geometric parallaxes of bursters provide a valuable chance to test models of PRE bursts (PRE models) and can be provided in some cases by Gaia astrometry of the donor stars in bursters. We searched for counterparts to 115 known bursters in the Gaia Early Data Release 3 and confirmed 4 bursters with Gaia counterparts that have detected (
, prior to zero-point correction) parallaxes. We describe a generic approach to the Gaia parallax zero point as well as its uncertainty using an ensemble of Gaia quasars individually determined for each target. Assuming the spherically symmetric PRE model is correct, we refined the resultant nominal PRE distances of three bursters (i.e. Cen
) and put constraints on their compositions of the nuclear fuel powering the bursts. Finally, we describe a method for testing the correctness of the spherically symmetric PRE model using parallax measurements and provide preliminary results.
Galactic electron density distribution models are crucial tools for estimating the impact of the ionised interstellar medium on the impulsive signals from radio pulsars and fast radio bursts. The two prevailing Galactic electron density models (GEDMs) are YMW16 (Yao et al. 2017, ApJ, 835, 29) and NE2001 (Cordes & Lazio 2002, arXiv e-prints, pp astro–ph/0207156). Here, we introduce a software package PyGEDM which provides a unified application programming interface for these models and the YT20 (Yamasaki & Totani 2020, ApJ, 888, 105) model of the Galactic halo. We use PyGEDM to compute all-sky maps of Galactic dispersion measure (DM) for YMW16 and NE2001 and compare the large-scale differences between the two. In general, YMW16 predicts higher DM values towards the Galactic anticentre. YMW16 predicts higher DMs at low Galactic latitudes, but NE2001 predicts higher DMs in most other directions. We identify lines of sight for which the models are most discrepant, using pulsars with independent distance measurements. YMW16 performs better on average than NE2001, but both models show significant outliers. We suggest that future campaigns to determine pulsar distances should focus on targets where the models show large discrepancies, so future models can use those measurements to better estimate distances along those line of sight. We also suggest that the Galactic halo should be considered as a component in future GEDMs, to avoid overestimating the Galactic DM contribution for extragalactic sources such as FRBs.
We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Records of proof-of-age hearings from 1246 to 1430 which mention land transfer are analysed by techniques aimed at overcoming the legal conventionality of the texts and the widespread plagiarism of the records of previous hearings. References are examined decade by decade, initially in terms of the numbers of testimonies mentioning land and, most importantly, in terms of their changing syntax, vocabulary and choice of detail. This approach gives clues to the state of the land market itself and to the mentalities of those involved. Particular attention is paid to the effects on the market of the economic and demographic shocks of the fourteenth century.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
An evolution of the low-frequency pulse profile of PSR B2217+47 is observed during a six-year observing campaign with the LOFAR telescope at 150 MHz. The evolution is manifested as a new component in the profile trailing the main peak. The leading part of the profile, including a newly-observed weak component, is steady during the campaign. The transient component is not visible in simultaneous observations at 1500 MHz using the Lovell telescope, implying a chromatic effect. A variation in the dispersion measure of the source is detected in the same timespan. Precession of the pulsar and changes in the magnetosphere are investigated to explain the profile evolution. However, the listed properties favour a model based on turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM). This interpretation is confirmed by a strong correlation between the intensity of the transient component and main peak in single pulses. Since PSR B2217+47 is the fourth brightest pulsar visible to LOFAR, we speculate that ISM-induced pulse profile evolution might be relatively common but subtle and that SKA-Low will detect many similar examples. In this scenario, similar studies of pulse profile evolution could be used in parallel with scintillation arcs to characterize the properties of the ISM.
Phased VLA observations of the Galactic center magnetar J1745-2900 over 8-12 GHz reveal rich single pulse behavior. The average profile is comprised of several distinct components and is fairly stable over day timescales and GHz frequencies. The average profile is dominated by the jitter of relatively narrow pulses. The pulses in each of the four profile components are uncorrelated in phase and amplitude, although the occurrence of pulse components 1 and 2 appear to be correlated. Using a collection of the brightest individual pulses, we verify that the index of the dispersion law is consistent with the expected cold plasma value of 2. The scattering time is weakly constrained, but consistent with previous measurements, while the dispersion measure DM = 1763+3−10 pc cm−3 is lower than previous measurements, which could be a result of time variability in the line-of-sight column density or changing pulse profile shape over time or frequency.
The Inquisitions post mortem (IPMs) are a truly wonderful source for many different aspects of late medieval countryside and rural life. They have recently been made digitally accessible and interrogatable by the Mapping the Medieval Countryside project, and the first fruits of these developments are presented here. The chapters examine IPMs in connection with the landscape and topography of England, in particular markets and fairs and mills; and consider the utility of proofs of age for everyday life on such topics as the Church, retaining, and the wine trade.
Michael Hicks is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Winchester.
Contributors: Katie A. Clarke, William S. Deller, Paul Dryburgh, Christopher Dyer, Janette Garrett, Michael Hicks, Matthew Holford, Gordon McKelvie, Stephen Mileson, Simon Payling, Matthew Tompkins, Jennifer Ward.
Records of proof-of-age hearings exist from the second half of the thirteenth until the mid-sixteenth century. The hearings were an addition to existing inquisition post mortem arrangements for tenants-in-chief of the crown, the purpose of the procedure being for the tenant-in-chief to ‘prove’ by means of the sworn testimony of a local jury that he or she was of age and so could enter their inheritance. A key and unique feature of a proof was the requirement for each juror to give a brief account of how he knew the heir's age. In doing so, jurors linked the heir's birth with details of their own personal lives, such as a birth, death or marriage in their family, their presence at the baptism or a reference to some dated document. Historians have long recognised their potential value, containing as they do personal details of the experiences of comparatively humble men whose lives are barely recorded elsewhere. They began to be calendared along with inquisitions post mortem at the end of the nineteenth century.
It is easy to see why historians recognised the usefulness of the calendared proofs, but a problem about using them was identified almost as soon as the first volumes of the Calendar were published. As early as 1907, for example, R.C. Fowler pointed out similarities in the sworn statements of witnesses in three proofs from the 1420s. In the same year M.T. Martin pushed back the period when such practice could be detected to 1328. A string of subsequent reviews drew attention to innumerable ‘correspondences’ within and between proofs as they appeared in the published volumes. By implication it was assumed that such plagiarism would, if detected widely, undermine the usefulness of proofs as sources. Continuing hesitancy over their veracity seems to have been a factor in most subsequent discussions.
The development of modern electronic databases has made possible the systematic analysis of a whole body of texts over a long period of time, rather than confining comment to ad hoc remarks on single volumes. In this case such a database enabled the wording of all 10,036 jurors’ proof testimonies from 1246 to 1430 to be compared, patterns of ‘correspondence’ between testimonies to be analysed and changes in vocabulary and syntax to be examined.
The correlation between radio spectral steepness and redshift has been successfully used to find high redshift (z ⩾ 2) radio galaxies, but the origin of this relation is unknown. The ultra-steep spectra of high-z radio sources make them ideally suited for studies with the Low Band Antenna of the new Low Frequency Array, which covers 10–80 MHz and has baselines up to about 1300 km. As part of an ongoing survey, we use the longest baselines to map the low-frequency (< 70 MHz) spatial distributions along the jets of 5 bright extended steep spectrum high-z radio sources. From this, we will determine whether the spectra change over these spatially resolved sources, thereby constraining particle acceleration processes. We present early results from our low-frequency survey of ultra-steep spectrum radio galaxies. The first low frequency long baseline images of these objects are presented.
We observed an area of sky located within the SDSS Stripe 82 field at 1.6 GHz with the European VLBI Network (EVN). There are fifteen mJy/sub-mJy radio sources within the primary beam of a typical 30-m class EVN radio telescope. Our aim was to obtain information on compact radio structures of all VLBI-detectable sources within this primary beam area. The source of particular interest is the recently identified radio quasar J222843.54+011032.2 (J2228+0110) at z = 5.95. The data correlation was performed at the EVN software correlator at JIVE (SFXC). Three targets (J2228+0110, J222851.45+011203.4, J222941.76+011428.5) were detected, all three with position offsets not exceeding the 3σ accuracy of the original low-resolution radio surveys. The detection rate of 20% is consistent with other wide-field VLBI experiments carried out recently (e.g. Middelberg et al. 2013). The project presented here demonstrates the ability of EVN in multiple-phase-centre experiments and paves the way for future large-scale EVN surveys of compact structures in extragalactic radio sources using the multiple-phase-centre VLBI technique.