242.09 FRB 121102: Searching for a Host (Matthew W. Abruzzo)

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Jan 5th at 5:30 PM until 6:30 PM

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Author(s): Matthew W. Abruzzo5, Robert Wharton3, Shami Chatterjee3, James M. Cordes3, Cees Bassa2, Geoffrey C. Bower1, Sarah Burke-Spolaor10, Bryan J. Butler10, Demorest Paul10, Jason Hessels2, Victoria M. Kaspi7, Casey J. Law11, Maura McLaughlin12, Scott M. Ransom9, Paul Scholz4, Andrew Seymour8, Laura Spitler6, Shriharsh P. Tendulkar7

Institution(s): 1. Academia Sinica, 2. ASTRON, 3. Cornell University, 4. Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, 5. Haverford College, 6. Max-Planck-Institut f_r Radioastronomie, 7. McGill University, 8. NAIC, 9. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 10. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 11. University of California at Berkeley, 12. West Virginia University

The origin of the highly-dispersed millisecond-duration pulses known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) is currently unknown. The large dispersion measures suggest extragalactic (possibly cosmological) distances, but exotic Galactic models can not yet be ruled out. To better understand the source of FRBs, we must localize a burst sufficiently to identify a host or counterpart at other wavelengths. As the only FRB currently known to show repeated bursts, FRB 121102 offers the best opportunity for an accurate position measurement. Using deep VLA observations at 3 GHz taken in the B and C arrays, we studied the radio sources detected in the FRB 121102 field. We also conducted a detailed multi-wavelength investigation of the field using observations at optical (Gemini), UV (Swift UVOT), and x-ray (Swift and Chandra), as well as using archival catalogs of infrared (ALLWISE, GLIMPSE) and H-alpha (IPHAS) sources. By cross-matching catalogs at different wavelengths, we are able to classify many sources as stars, galaxies, or AGN. From the deep multi-epoch multi-configuration VLA 3 GHz data, we identify over 200 new radio sources and assess their variability on timescales of days to months. We present a catalog of sources that will be useful for identifying a counterpart to FRB 121102.