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Title: Millisecond Magnetar Birth Connects FRB 121102 to Superluminous Supernovae and Long-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts

Abstract

Subarcsecond localization of the repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102 revealed its coincidence with a dwarf host galaxy and a steady (“quiescent”) nonthermal radio source. We show that the properties of the host galaxy are consistent with those of long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRB) and hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I). Both LGRBs and SLSNe-I were previously hypothesized to be powered by the electromagnetic spin-down of newly formed, strongly magnetized neutron stars with millisecond birth rotation periods (“millisecond magnetars”). This motivates considering a scenario whereby the repeated bursts from FRB 121102 originate from a young magnetar remnant embedded within a young hydrogen-poor supernova (SN) remnant. Requirements on the gigahertz free–free optical depth through the expanding SN ejecta (accounting for photoionization by the rotationally powered magnetar nebula), energetic constraints on the bursts, and constraints on the size of the quiescent source all point to an age of less than a few decades. The quiescent radio source can be attributed to synchrotron emission from the shock interaction between the fast outer layer of the supernova ejecta with the surrounding wind of the progenitor star, or the radio source can from deeper within the magnetar wind nebula as outlined in Metzger et al. Alternatively, the radiomore » emission could be an orphan afterglow from an initially off-axis LGRB jet, though this might require the source to be too young. The young age of the source can be tested by searching for a time derivative of the dispersion measure and the predicted fading of the quiescent radio source. We propose future tests of the SLSNe-I/LGRB/FRB connection, such as searches for FRBs from nearby SLSNe-I/LGRBs on timescales of decades after their explosions.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  2. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663311
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 841; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCOUNTING; AFTERGLOW; COSMIC GAMMA BURSTS; DISPERSIONS; EMISSION; EXPLOSIONS; GALAXIES; GAMMA RADIATION; HYDROGEN; INTERACTIONS; LAYERS; LIMITING VALUES; NEBULAE; NEUTRON STARS; PHOTOIONIZATION; ROTATION; SPIN; SUPERNOVAE; SYNCHROTRON RADIATION

Citation Formats

Metzger, Brian D., Margalit, Ben, and Berger, Edo. Millisecond Magnetar Birth Connects FRB 121102 to Superluminous Supernovae and Long-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA633D.
Metzger, Brian D., Margalit, Ben, & Berger, Edo. Millisecond Magnetar Birth Connects FRB 121102 to Superluminous Supernovae and Long-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA633D.
Metzger, Brian D., Margalit, Ben, and Berger, Edo. Sat . "Millisecond Magnetar Birth Connects FRB 121102 to Superluminous Supernovae and Long-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA633D.
@article{osti_22663311,
title = {Millisecond Magnetar Birth Connects FRB 121102 to Superluminous Supernovae and Long-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts},
author = {Metzger, Brian D. and Margalit, Ben and Berger, Edo},
abstractNote = {Subarcsecond localization of the repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102 revealed its coincidence with a dwarf host galaxy and a steady (“quiescent”) nonthermal radio source. We show that the properties of the host galaxy are consistent with those of long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRB) and hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I). Both LGRBs and SLSNe-I were previously hypothesized to be powered by the electromagnetic spin-down of newly formed, strongly magnetized neutron stars with millisecond birth rotation periods (“millisecond magnetars”). This motivates considering a scenario whereby the repeated bursts from FRB 121102 originate from a young magnetar remnant embedded within a young hydrogen-poor supernova (SN) remnant. Requirements on the gigahertz free–free optical depth through the expanding SN ejecta (accounting for photoionization by the rotationally powered magnetar nebula), energetic constraints on the bursts, and constraints on the size of the quiescent source all point to an age of less than a few decades. The quiescent radio source can be attributed to synchrotron emission from the shock interaction between the fast outer layer of the supernova ejecta with the surrounding wind of the progenitor star, or the radio source can from deeper within the magnetar wind nebula as outlined in Metzger et al. Alternatively, the radio emission could be an orphan afterglow from an initially off-axis LGRB jet, though this might require the source to be too young. The young age of the source can be tested by searching for a time derivative of the dispersion measure and the predicted fading of the quiescent radio source. We propose future tests of the SLSNe-I/LGRB/FRB connection, such as searches for FRBs from nearby SLSNe-I/LGRBs on timescales of decades after their explosions.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA633D},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 841,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We present optical spectroscopy and optical/near-IR photometry of 31 host galaxies of hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe), including 15 events from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey. Our sample spans the redshift range 0.1 ≲ z ≲ 1.6, and is the first comprehensive host galaxy study of this specific subclass of cosmic explosions. Combining the multi-band photometry and emission-line measurements, we determine the luminosities, stellar masses, star formation rates, and metallicities. We find that, as a whole, the hosts of SLSNe are a low-luminosity ((M{sub B} ) ≈ –17.3 mag), low stellar mass ((M {sub *}) ≈ 2 × 10{sup 8} Mmore » {sub ☉}) population, with a high median specific star formation rate ((sSFR) ≈ 2 Gyr{sup –1}). The median metallicity of our spectroscopic sample is low, 12 + log (O/H) ≈ 8.35 ≈ 0.45 Z {sub ☉}, although at least one host galaxy has solar metallicity. The host galaxies of H-poor SLSNe are statistically distinct from the hosts of GOODS core-collapse SNe (which cover a similar redshift range), but resemble the host galaxies of long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) in terms of stellar mass, SFR, sSFR, and metallicity. This result indicates that the environmental causes leading to massive stars forming either SLSNe or LGRBs are similar, and in particular that SLSNe are more effectively formed in low metallicity environments. We speculate that the key ingredient is large core angular momentum, leading to a rapidly spinning magnetar in SLSNe and an accreting black hole in LGRBs.« less
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  • A rapidly spinning, strongly magnetized neutron star (magnetar) has been proposed as one possible candidate of the central engine of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). We systematically analyze the Swift/XRT light curves of long GRBs detected before 2013 August, and characterize them into four categories based on how likely they may harbor a magnetar central engine: Gold, Silver, Aluminum, and Non-magnetar. We also independently analyze the data of short GRBs with a putative magnetar central engine. We then perform a statistical study of various properties of the magnetar samples and the non-magnetar sample, and investigate whether the data are consistent with themore » hypothesis that there exist two types of central engines. By deriving the physical parameters of the putative magnetars, we find that the observations of the Gold and Silver samples are generally consistent with the predictions of the magnetar model. For a reasonable beaming factor for long GRBs, the derived magnetar surface magnetic field B{sub p} and initial spin period P {sub 0} fall into the reasonable range. Magnetar winds in short GRBs, on the other hand, are consistent with being isotropic. No GRB in the magnetar sample has a beam-corrected total energy exceeding the maximum energy budget defined by the initial spin energy of the magnetar, while some non-magnetar GRBs do violate such a limit. With beaming correction, on average the non-magnetar sample is more energetic and luminous than the magnetar samples. Our analysis hints that millisecond magnetars are likely operating in a good fraction, but probably not all, GRBs.« less
  • The similarity of the host galaxy of FRB 121102 with those of long gamma-ray bursts and Type I superluminous supernovae suggests that this fast radio burst (FRB) could be associated with a young magnetar. By assuming the FRB emission is produced within the magnetosphere, we derive a lower limit on the age of the magnetar, after which GHz emission is able to escape freely from the dense relativistic wind of the magnetar. Another lower limit is obtained by requiring the dispersion measure contributed by the electron/positron pair wind to be consistent with the observations of the host galaxy. Furthermore, wemore » also derive some upper limits on the magnetar age with discussions on possible energy sources of the FRB emission and the recently discovered persistent radio counterpart. As a result, some constraints on model parameters are addressed by reconciling the lower limits with the possible upper limits that are derived with an assumption of the rotational energy source.« less