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CHIME/FRB discovery of a bright radio burst from a Galactic magnetar

Event details of Paul Scholz (Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics)
Date 27 January 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00
Paul Scholz

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are bright millisecond-duration bursts of radio waves from cosmological distances whose nature is an ongoing mystery in astrophysics. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) FRB project leverages the enormous field of view provided by the CHIME telescope to search for FRBs. In the first two years of operation, CHIME/FRB has revolutionised the FRB field by collecting a large statistical sample as well as made several key discoveries. One of these discoveries was made on 2020 April 28 when CHIME/FRB detected a bright radio burst from Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154 during a known state of X-ray outburst. This event largely bridges the radio energy gap between the population of Galactic magnetars and FRBs, strongly supporting that magnetars are the origin of at least some FRBs. In this talk I will describe the CHIME/FRB project and review the highlights of its operations to date. I'll then present the discovery of the radio burst from SGR 1935+2154 and put it in context with high-energy telescope observations of the source as well as of FRB sources. I'll conclude by discussing whether magnetars can explain the entirety of the FRB population.