Deep optical observations contemporaneous with emission from the periodic FRB 180916.J0158+65

Charles D. Kilpatrick, Joseph N. Burchett, David O. Jones, Ben Margalit, Russet McMillan, Wen Fai Fong, Kasper E. Heintz, Nicolas Tejos, Alicia Rouco Escorial

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We present deep Apache Point Observatory optical observations within seconds of radio emission from the periodic fast radio burst (FRB) 180916.J0158+65 obtained on 2020 September 3. FRB 180916.J0158+65 is located in a nearby spiral galaxy 150 Mpc away and has an "active phase"with a well-measured period of approximately 16.3 days. Targeting the FRB at the peak of its expected active phase and during a recent 30 minute observing window by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) in which a radio burst was detected, we did not detect any transient optical emission at mi ≈ 24.7 mag (3σ) from 2.2 to 1938.1 s after the burst arrival time in optical bands (corrected for dispersion). Comparing our limiting magnitudes to models of a synchrotron maser formed in the circumburst environment of FRB 180916+J0158.65, we constrain scenarios where the burst energy was >1044 erg and the circumburst density was >104 cm-3.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberabd560
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2021


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