Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Burst timescales and luminosities as links between young pulsars and fast radio bursts


Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are extragalactic radio flashes of unknown physical origin. Their high luminosities and short durations require extreme energy densities, such as those found in the vicinity of neutron stars and black holes. Studying the burst intensities and polarimetric properties on a wide range of timescales, from milliseconds down to nanoseconds, is key to understanding the emission mechanism. However, high-time-resolution studies of FRBs are limited by their unpredictable activity levels, available instrumentation and temporal broadening in the intervening ionized medium. Here we show that the repeating FRB 20200120E can produce isolated shots of emission as short as about 60 nanoseconds in duration, with brightness temperatures as high as 3 × 1041 K (excluding relativistic effects), comparable with ‘nano-shots’ from the Crab pulsar. Comparing both the range of timescales and luminosities, we find that FRB 20200120E observationally bridges the gap between known Galactic young pulsars and magnetars and the much more distant extragalactic FRBs. This suggests a common magnetically powered emission mechanism spanning many orders of magnitude in timescale and luminosity. In this Article, we probe a relatively unexplored region of the short-duration transient phase space; we highlight that there probably exists a population of ultrafast radio transients at nanosecond to microsecond timescales, which current FRB searches are insensitive to.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Burst B3 from FRB 20200120E exhibits sub-microsecond temporal structure.
Fig. 2: The polarimetric profiles, dynamic spectra, time-averaged spectra and polarization position angle (PPA) of the bursts detected from FRB 20200120E.
Fig. 3: Nanosecond to second transient phase space.

Data availability

The data that support the plots and results in this study are available at:

Code availability

The code used for the analysis and figures in this work can be found here: The phased-array branch of SFXC can be accessed here: The bolometer branch of SFXC can be accessed here: DSPSR (which contains digifil) can be installed from here: PSRCHIVE can be installed from here: For burst searches the required software is PRESTO (, SpS (, Heimdall ( and FETCH (


  1. Hewish, A., Bell, S. J., Pilkington, J. D. H., Scott, P. F. & Collins, R. A. Observation of a rapidly pulsating radio source. Nature 217, 709–713 (1968).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Staelin, D. H., Reifenstein, I. & Edward, C. Pulsating radio sources near the Crab nebula. Science 162, 1481–1483 (1968).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Heiles, C. & Campbell, D. B. Pulsar NP 0532: properties and systematic polarization of individual strong pulses at 430 MHz. Nature 226, 529–531 (1970).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Staelin, D. H. Observed shapes of Crab nebula radio pulses. Nature 226, 69–70 (1970).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Hankins, T. H., Kern, J. S., Weatherall, J. C. & Eilek, J. A. Nanosecond radio bursts from strong plasma turbulence in the Crab pulsar. Nature 422, 141–143 (2003).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Hankins, T. H. & Eilek, J. A. Radio emission signatures in the Crab pulsar. Astrophys. J. 670, 693–701 (2007).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Lorimer, D. R., Bailes, M., McLaughlin, M. A., Narkevic, D. J. & Crawford, F. A bright millisecond radio burst of extragalactic origin. Science 318, 777 (2007)..

  8. Thornton, D. et al. A population of fast radio bursts at cosmological distances. Science 341, 53–56 (2013).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Petroff, E., Hessels, J. W. T. & Lorimer, D. R. Fast radio bursts. Astron. Astrophys. Rev. 27, 4 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Cordes, J. M. & Chatterjee, S. Fast radio bursts: an extragalactic enigma. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 57, 417–465 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Petroff, E., Hessels, J. W. T. & Lorimer, D. R. Fast radio bursts at the dawn of the 2020s. Preprint at (2021).

  12. Farah, W. et al. FRB microstructure revealed by the real-time detection of FRB170827. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 478, 1209–1217 (2018).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. Michilli, D. et al. An extreme magneto-ionic environment associated with the fast radio burst source FRB 121102. Nature 553, 182–185 (2018).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. Cho, H. et al. Spectropolarimetric analysis of FRB 181112 at microsecond resolution: implications for fast radio burst emission mechanism. Astrophys. J. Lett. 891, L38 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. Nimmo, K. et al. Highly polarized microstructure from the repeating FRB 20180916B. Nat. Astron. 5, 594–603 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  16. Day, C. K. et al. High time resolution and polarization properties of ASKAP-localized fast radio bursts. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 497, 3335–3350 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  17. Hessels, J. W. T. et al. FRB 121102 bursts show complex time-frequency structure. Astrophys. J. Lett. 876, L23 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  18. Platts, E. et al. A living theory catalogue for fast radio bursts. Phys. Rep. 821, 1–27 (2019).

    ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  19. CHIME/FRB Collaboration. et al. CHIME/FRB discovery of eight new repeating fast radio burst sources. Astrophys. J. Lett. 885, L24 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  20. Fonseca, E. et al. Nine new repeating fast radio burst sources from CHIME/FRB. Astrophys. J. Lett. 891, L6 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  21. Pleunis, Z. et al. Fast radio burst morphology in the first CHIME/FRB catalog. Astrophys. J. 923, 1 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  22. Kirsten, F. et al. A repeating fast radio burst source in a globular cluster. Nature (in the press).

  23. Bhardwaj, M. et al. A nearby repeating fast radio burst in the direction of M81. Astrophys. J. Lett. 910, L18 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  24. CHIME/FRB Collaboration. et al. A bright millisecond-duration radio burst from a Galactic magnetar. Nature 587, 54–58 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  25. Bochenek, C. D. et al. A fast radio burst associated with a Galactic magnetar. Nature 587, 59–62 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  26. Zhong, S.-Q., Dai, Z.-G., Zhang, H.-M. & Deng, C.-M. On the distance of SGR 1935+2154 associated with FRB 200428 and hosted in SNR G57.2+0.8. Astrophys. J. Lett. 898, L5 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  27. Marcote, B. et al. A repeating fast radio burst source localized to a nearby spiral galaxy. Nature 577, 190–194 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  28. Whitney, A., Kettenis, M., Phillips, C. & Sekido, M. VLBI Data Interchange Format (VDIF). In Sixth Int. VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astron. Proc. from the 2010 Gen. Meet. (eds Navarro, R. et al.) 192–196 (NASA/CP 2010-215864, 2010).

  29. Keimpema, A. et al. The SFXC software correlator for very long baseline interferometry: algorithms and implementation. Exp. Astron. 39, 259–279 (2015).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  30. Cordes, J. M. & Lazio, T. J. W. NE2001.I. A new model for the Galactic distribution of free electrons and its fluctuations. Preprint at (2002).

  31. Taylor, J. H., Manchester, R. N. & Lyne, A. G. Catalog of 558 pulsars. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 88, 529 (1993).

  32. van Straten, W. The statistics of radio astronomical polarimetry: bright sources and high time resolution. Astrophys. J. 694, 1413–1422 (2009).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  33. Luo, R. et al. Diverse polarization angle swings from a repeating fast radio burst source. Nature 586, 693–696 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  34. Gourdji, K. et al. A sample of low-energy bursts from FRB 121102. Astrophys. J. Lett. 877, L19 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  35. Cordes, J. M., Bhat, N. D. R., Hankins, T. H., McLaughlin, M. A. & Kern, J. The brightest pulses in the universe: multifrequency observations of the Crab pulsar’s giant pulses. Astrophys. J. 612, 375–388 (2004).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  36. Karuppusamy, R., Stappers, B. W. & van Straten, W. Giant pulses from the Crab pulsar. A wide-band study. Astron. Astrophys. 515, A36 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  37. Jessner, A. et al. Giant pulses with nanosecond time resolution detected from the Crab pulsar at 8.5 and 15.1 GHz. Astron. Astrophys. 524, A60 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  38. Hankins, T. H., Eilek, J. A. & Jones, G. The Crab pulsar at centimeter wavelengths. II. Single pulses. Astrophys. J. 833, 47 (2016).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  39. Thulasiram, P. & Lin, H.-H. Narrow-banded giant pulses from the Crab pulsar. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 508, 1947 (2021).

  40. Bij, A. et al. Kinematics of Crab giant pulses. Astrophys. J. 920, 38 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  41. Geyer, M. et al. The Thousand-Pulsar-Array programme on MeerKAT - III. Giant pulse characteristics of PSR J0540-6919. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 505, 4468–4482 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  42. Wadiasingh, Z. et al. The fast radio burst luminosity function and death line in the low-twist magnetar model. Astrophys. J. 891, 82 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  43. Kirsten, F. et al. Detection of two bright radio bursts from magnetar SGR 1935+2154. Nat. Astron. 5, 414–422 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  44. Metzger, B. D., Margalit, B. & Sironi, L. Fast radio bursts as synchrotron maser emission from decelerating relativistic blast waves. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 485, 4091–4106 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  45. Philippov, A., Uzdensky, D. A., Spitkovsky, A. & Cerutti, B. Pulsar radio emission mechanism: radio nanoshots as a low-frequency afterglow of relativistic magnetic reconnection. Astrophys. J. Lett. 876, L6 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  46. Yuan, Y., Beloborodov, A. M., Chen, A. Y. & Levin, Y. Plasmoid ejection by Alfvén waves and the fast radio bursts from SGR 1935+2154. Astrophys. J. Lett. 900, L21 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  47. Lyubarsky, Y. Fast radio bursts from reconnection in a magnetar magnetosphere. Astrophys. J. 897, 1 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  48. Lyutikov, M. Coherent emission in pulsars, magnetars and fast radio bursts: reconnection-driven free electron laser. Astrophys. J. 922, 166 (2021).

  49. CHIME/FRB Collaboration et al. Periodic activity from a fast radio burst source. Nature 582, 351–355 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  50. Agarwal, D., Aggarwal, K., Burke-Spolaor, S., Lorimer, D. R. & Garver-Daniels, N. FETCH: a deep-learning based classifier for fast transient classification. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 497, 1661–1674 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  51. Lazarus, P. et al. Prospects for high-precision pulsar timing with the new Effelsberg PSRIX backend. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 458, 868–880 (2016).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  52. Ransom, S. M. New Search Techniques for Binary Pulsars. PhD thesis, Harvard Univ. (2001).

  53. Michilli, D. et al. Single-pulse classifier for the LOFAR Tied-Array All-sky Survey. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 480, 3457–3467 (2018).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  54. van Straten, W. & Bailes, M. DSPSR: digital signal processing software for pulsar astronomy. Publ. Astron. Soc. Aust. 28, 1–14 (2011).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  55. Hotan, A. W., van Straten, W. & Manchester, R. N. PSRCHIVE and PSRFITS: an open approach to radio pulsar data storage and analysis. Publ. Astron. Soc. Aust. 21, 302–309 (2004).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  56. Tuccari, G. et al. DBBC2 Backend: status and development plan. In IVS 2010 Gen. Meet. Proc. (eds Behrend, D. & Baver, K. D.) 392–395 (NASA/CP-2010-215864, 2010).

  57. Gajjar, V. et al. Highest frequency detection of FRB 121102 at 4–8 GHz using the breakthrough listen digital backend at the Green Bank Telescope. Astrophys. J. 863, 2 (2018).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  58. Cordes, J. M. Pulsar radiation as polarized shot noise. Astrophys. J. 210, 780–791 (1976).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  59. Stephens, M. EDF statistics for goodness of fit and some comparisons. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 69, 730–737 (1974).

    Google Scholar 

  60. Huppenkothen, D. et al. Stingray: a modern Python library for spectral timing. Astrophys. J. 881, 39 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  61. Foreman-Mackey, D., Hogg, D. W., Lang, D. & Goodman, J. emcee: the MCMC hammer. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 125, 306 (2013).

  62. Freedman, W. L. et al. The Hubble Space Telescope Extragalactic Distance Scale Key Project. I. The discovery of Cepheids and a new distance to M81. Astrophys. J. 427, 628 (1994).

  63. Everett, J. E. & Weisberg, J. M. Emission beam geometry of selected pulsars derived from average pulse polarization data. Astrophys. J. 553, 341–357 (2001).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  64. Spitler, L. G. et al. A repeating fast radio burst. Nature 531, 202–205 (2016).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  65. Scholz, P. et al. Simultaneous X-ray, gamma-ray, and radio observations of the repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102. Astrophys. J. 846, 80 (2017).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  66. Law, C. J. et al. A multi-telescope campaign on FRB 121102: implications for the FRB population. Astrophys. J. 850, 76 (2017).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  67. Hardy, L. K. et al. A search for optical bursts from the repeating fast radio burst FRB 121102. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 472, 2800–2807 (2017).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  68. Houben, L. J. M. et al. Constraints on the low frequency spectrum of FRB 121102. Astron. Astrophys. 623, A42 (2019).

    Google Scholar 

  69. Majid, W. A. et al. A dual-band radio observation of FRB 121102 with the Deep Space Network and the detection of multiple bursts. Astrophys. J. Lett. 897, L4 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  70. Josephy, A. et al. CHIME/FRB detection of the original repeating fast radio burst source FRB 121102. Astrophys. J. Lett. 882, L18 (2019).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  71. Rajwade, K. M. et al. Possible periodic activity in the repeating FRB 121102. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 495, 3551–3558 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  72. Caleb, M. et al. Simultaneous multi-telescope observations of FRB 121102. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 496, 4565–4573 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  73. Chawla, P. et al. Detection of repeating FRB 180916.J0158+65 down to frequencies of 300 MHz. Astrophys. J. Lett. 896, L41 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  74. Pleunis, Z. et al. LOFAR detection of 110–188 MHz emission and frequency-dependent activity from FRB 20180916B. Astrophys. J. Lett. 911, L3 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  75. Macquart, J. P. et al. A census of baryons in the Universe from localized fast radio bursts. Nature 581, 391–395 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  76. Kumar, P. et al. Extremely band-limited repetition from a fast radio burst source. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 500, 2525–2531 (2021).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  77. Zhang, C. F. et al. A highly polarised radio burst detected from SGR 1935+2154 by FAST. Astron. Telegr. 13699 (2020).

  78. Good, D. CHIME/FRB detection of three more radio bursts from SGR 1935+2154. Astron. Telegr. 14074 (2020).

  79. Keane, E. F. The future of fast radio burst science. Nat. Astron. 2, 865–872 (2018).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  80. Rickett, B. J. Radio propagation through the turbulent interstellar plasma. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 28, 561–605 (1990).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank W. van Straten for help with digifil. The European VLBI Network is a joint facility of independent European, African, Asian and North American radio astronomy institutes. Scientific results from data presented in this publication are derived from the following EVN project code: EK048. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No. 730562 (RadioNet) and 101004719 (OPTICON–RadioNet Pilot). A.B.P is a McGill Space Institute Fellow and a Fonds de Recherche du Quebec—Nature et Technologies (FRQNT) postdoctoral fellow. B.M. acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under grant AYA2016-76012-C3-1-P and from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación under grants PID2019-105510GB-C31 and CEX2019-000918-M of the Institut de Ciències del Cosmos of the Universitat de Barcelona (Unidad de Excelencia ‘María de Maeztu’ 2020–2023). C.L. was supported by the US Department of Defense through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program. D.M. is a Banting Fellow. E.P. acknowledges funding from a Dutch Research Council (NWO) Veni Fellowship. F.K. acknowledges support from the Swedish Research Council. FRB research at the University of British Columbia is supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant and by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. J.P.Y. is supported by the National Program on Key Research and Development Project (2017YFA0402602). K.S. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. K.W.M. is supported by a National Science Foundation Grant (2008031). M.B. is supported by an FRQNT Doctoral Research Award. N.W. acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 12041304 and 11873080). P.S. is a Dunlap Fellow and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow. The Dunlap Institute is funded through an endowment established by the David Dunlap family and the University of Toronto. V.B. acknowledges support from the Engineering Research Institute Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre. Research by the AstroFlash group at University of Amsterdam, ASTRON and the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC is supported in part by an NWO Vici grant (principal investigator J.W.T.H.; VI.C.192.045).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



K.N. led the data analysis, made the figures and wrote most of the manuscript. J.W.T.H. guided the work and made important contributions to the writing and interpretation. F.K. discovered the bursts and contributed to the analysis of the voltage data. A.K. adapted the SFXC code to create coherently dedispersed voltage data at the native time resolution. J.M.C. provided important insights into the data analysis strategy. M.P.S., D.M.H. and R.K. played supporting roles in the data acquisition and analysis. All other authors contributed significantly to laying the groundwork for this study, or aspects of the data acquisition or interpretation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to K. Nimmo.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Astronomy thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Extended data

Extended Data Fig. 1 The probability that the brightest 1–2 bin features in the 31.25 ns burst profiles are consistent with the local amplitude modulated noise distribution.

Panels a–c show the 31.25 ns resolution profiles (grey) with off burst noise (black) shown for comparison. The burst name and time resolution is shown in the top left corner and the frequency range averaged over to produce the burst profile in the top right corner of the panels. Panels d–f are zoomed-in profiles containing the highest S/N feature in the burst profile. The colored region represent the local region (time span ± 1.5625μs) used to determine the probability density function (pdf; panels g–i) and cumulative density function (cdf; panels j–l). Note that the feature at the center of the colored region is not added to the distribution, since this is the feature which we want to determine the significance of relative to the local distribution. An exponential distribution fit is overplotted (colored lines) on the pdf and cdf. The highest S/N feature is represented by the vertical dashed line on the cdf (where in the case of B3, there are two dashed lines since the feature is 2 bins wide), and the legend shows the probability (or 1-cdf) of these features. The horizontal dashed lines on panels d–f represent the 3σ levels for single-bin features, using this local distribution (also for 2-bin features in the case of B3).

Extended Data Fig. 2 Low time resolution 2D autocorrelation functions (ACFs) of the bursts detected from FRB 20200120E.

Panels f–j show the 2D ACF with colored contours overplotted representing the 2D Gaussian fit 1,2,3 and 4σ. The zero lag spike is not plotted. The ACF is computed using filterbank data generated with SFXC29, with time and frequency resolution of 8μs and 125 kHz, respectively. The data were dedispersed using a DM of 87.75 pc cm−3. Panels a–e show the frequency-averaged time ACF, with the frequency-averaged Gaussian fit overplotted, and similarly panels k–o show the time-averaged frequency ACF, with the time-averaged Gaussian fit overplotted. The time and frequency scales characterised in this plot, arise from the burst temporal width and frequency extent. The colored lines coordinate with other figures in this work (for example Figure 2 and Supplementary Figure 3).

Extended Data Fig. 3 Measurement of the scintillation bandwidth in the autocorrelation function (ACF) of each of the five bursts from FRB 20200120E.

Sub-figure a shows the time-averaged frequency ACF from Extended Data Figure 2 after subtracting the Gaussian fit (black). The Lorentzian fit to the central component is shown by the colored line. The burst name is shown in the top left of each panel, and the measured scintillation bandwidth (defined as the half-width at half-maximum of the Lorentzian80) is shown in the top right of each panel. Sub-figure b shows a colormap of the expected scattering timescale at 1.4 GHz as a function of Galactic longitude and latitude, from the NE2001 Galactic electron density model30. The sky positions of both FRB 20200120E and FRB 20180916B are shown by the black cross and white plus, respectively.

Extended Data Fig. 4 Dynamic spectrum of burst B3 from FRB 20200120E with time resolution 31.25 ns, temporal autocorrelation function (ACF) and power spectrum (PS).

Panel b shows the dynamic spectrum in the form of temporal profiles per subband. This data was generated with SFXC, and each subband has been coherently dedispersed to 87.7527 pc cm−3. Panel a shows the frequency-averaged burst profile. Panel c shows the average power spectrum (PS) of the four subbands containing significant burst structure in the top panel (grey), with a downsampled PS (factor 8) overplotted in black. The purple and blue lines represent fits to the PS of a red noise power law plus white noise model and a power law/white noise plus Lorentzian model, respectively. Panels d and e below show the residuals (2 × D/M, for data D and model M) of both models, matching the colors above. The dashed lines represent the perfect case of D = M. Panel f shows the average temporal ACF of the same four subbands (top panel, orange). For comparison the off burst ACF is also shown (grey). The residual of the average ACF subtracted the noise ACF is shown in panel g below, with the green and purple Lorentzian fits to the ACF residuals highlighting two distinct temporal scales in the data. Panel h shows a zoom in on the ACF residuals highlighting a third temporal scale by the cyan Lorentzian fit.

Extended Data Fig. 5 Dynamic spectrum, ACF and PS for burst B2 from FRB 20200120E.

Note the average ACF only shows one temporal scale (unlike the three seen for burst B3). Additionally, we only plot the red noise power law plus white noise model since any wide Lorentzian features are less apparent in this power spectrum, than the case of B3.

Extended Data Fig. 6 Dynamic spectrum, ACF and PS for burst B4 from FRB 20200120E.

Note the average ACF shows two temporal scales (unlike the 3 seen for burst B3). Additionally, we only plot the red noise power law plus white noise model since any wide Lorentzian features are less apparent in this power spectrum, than the case of B3.

Extended Data Fig. 7 Correlation coefficient between single time bin (1 μs) spectra of bursts B2, B3 and B4 from FRB 20200120E.

Panels a–c show the 1μs burst profile with the burst name and time resolution shown in the top left corner and the frequency range averaged over to produce the burst profile in the top right corner of each panel. Panels d–e show the correlation coefficient between single time bin spectra above a S/N threshold of 9 as a function of the time separation between bins. The color gradient indicates the geometric mean of the two time bins used to determine the correlation coefficient (darker color implying a higher geometric mean). Also plotted is a histogram of the correlation coefficients. The colored line represents the geometric mean S/N weighted correlation coefficient. The mean correlation coefficients are used to test for consistency with the scintillating, amplitude-modulated, polarized shot noise prediction (0.33 for 100% polarized emission35).

Extended Data Fig. 8 High time resolution polarimetric profile and polarization position angle (PPA) for burst B3 from FRB 20200120E.

Panels a–c show the PPA as a function of time, with the orange line representing the weighted best-fit line to the PPA. Only the PPAs above a linear S/N threshold of 5 are plotted. Panels d–f show the polarimetric profile of the burst sampled at 125 ns, with Stokes I (black), unbiased linear polarization (Everett & Weisberg63; red) and circular polarization (blue). The yellow and blue regions plotted on panels a and d represent the time ranges used for plotting panels b,e and panels c,f, respectively. This data was generated with SFXC, with 4 MHz channels and coherently (within subbands) and incoherently (between subbands) dedispersed to 87.7527 pc cm−3. The frequency information was averaged for the frequency range 1254 - 1430 MHz (visually, the extent of the burst in frequency), which, in this data product, corresponds to averaging by a factor of 44.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary methods, Figs. 1–3 and Table 1.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nimmo, K., Hessels, J.W.T., Kirsten, F. et al. Burst timescales and luminosities as links between young pulsars and fast radio bursts. Nat Astron 6, 393–401 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing