Letter | Published:

This is an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. Nature Research are providing this early version of the manuscript as a service to our customers. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting and a proof review before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

A second source of repeating fast radio bursts

Nature (2019) | Download Citation

Abstract

The discovery of a repeating fast radio burst (FRB) source1,2, FRB 121102, eliminated models involving cataclysmic events for this source. No other repeating FRB has hitherto been detected despite many recent discoveries and follow-ups3–5, suggesting that repeaters may be rare in the FRB population. Here we report the detection of six repeat bursts from FRB 180814.J0422+73, one of the 13 FRBs detected6 by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) FRB project7 during its pre-commissioning phase in July and August 2018. These repeat bursts are consistent with originating from a single position on the sky, with the same dispersion measure, about 189 pc cm−3. This traces approximately twice the expected Milky Way column density, and implies an upper limit on the source redshift of 0.1, at least a factor of about 2 closer than FRB 1211028. In some of the repeat bursts, we observe sub-pulse frequency structure, drifting, and spectral variation reminiscent of that seen in FRB 1211029,10, suggesting similar emission mechanisms and/or propagation effects. This second repeater, found among the first few CHIME/FRB discoveries, suggests that there exists—and that CHIME/FRB and other wide-field, sensitive radio telescopes will find—a substantial population of repeating FRBs.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Author notes

  1. A list of participants and their affiliations appears at the end of the paper.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    • M. Amiri
    • , D. Cubranic
    • , M. Deng
    • , M. Fandino
    • , D. C. Good
    • , M. Halpern
    • , A. S. Hill
    • , G. Hinshaw
    • , C. Höfer
    • , N. Milutinovic
    • , T. Pinsonneault-Marotte
    • , J. R. Shaw
    • , I. H. Stairs
    •  & P. Yadav
  2. CSEE, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

    • K. Bandura
  3. Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

    • K. Bandura
  4. Department of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

    • M. Bhardwaj
    • , P. Boubel
    • , P. J. Boyle
    • , C. Brar
    • , P. Chawla
    • , J. F. Cliche
    • , M. Dobbs
    • , E. Fonseca
    • , A. J. Gilbert
    • , D. S. Hanna
    • , A. Josephy
    • , V. M. Kaspi
    • , J. Mena-Parra
    • , M. Merryfield
    • , D. Michilli
    • , C. Moatti
    • , A. Naidu
    • , C. Patel
    • , Z. Pleunis
    • , S. R. Siegel
    •  & S. P. Tendulkar
  5. McGill Space Institute, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

    • M. Bhardwaj
    • , P. Boubel
    • , P. J. Boyle
    • , C. Brar
    • , P. Chawla
    • , J. F. Cliche
    • , M. Dobbs
    • , E. Fonseca
    • , A. J. Gilbert
    • , D. S. Hanna
    • , A. Josephy
    • , V. M. Kaspi
    • , J. Mena-Parra
    • , M. Merryfield
    • , D. Michilli
    • , C. Moatti
    • , A. Naidu
    • , C. Patel
    • , Z. Pleunis
    • , S. R. Siegel
    •  & S. P. Tendulkar
  6. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    • M. M. Boyce
  7. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

    • M. Burhanpurkar
  8. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • T. Cassanelli
    • , N. Denman
    • , B. M. Gaensler
    • , A. Gill
    • , R. Mckinven
    • , A. Renard
    • , I. Tretyakov
    •  & K. Vanderlinde
  9. Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • T. Cassanelli
    • , N. Denman
    • , B. M. Gaensler
    • , A. Gill
    • , R. Mckinven
    • , C. Ng
    • , M. Rahman
    •  & K. Vanderlinde
  10. Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

    • U. Giri
    • , D. A. Lang
    • , M. Rafiei-Ravandi
    •  & K. M. Smith
  11. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

    • U. Giri
    •  & D. A. Lang
  12. Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre, National Research Council of Canada, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada

    • A. S. Hill
    • , T. L. Landecker
    • , N. Milutinovic
    • , P. Scholz
    •  & J. R. Shaw
  13. Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO, USA

    • A. S. Hill
  14. Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • H.-H. Lin
    •  & U.-L. Pen
  15. MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

    • K. W. Masui
    •  & J. Mena-Parra
  16. Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

    • K. W. Masui
  17. Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

    • L. B. Newburgh
  18. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, VA, USA

    • S. M. Ransom
  19. Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • I. Tretyakov

Consortia

  1. The CHIME/FRB Collaboration

Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Ng.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0864-x

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.