The putative host galaxy of FRB 20171020A was first identified as ESO 601-G036 in 2018, but as no repeat bursts have been detected, direct confirmation of the host remains elusive. In light of recent developments in the field, we re-examine this host and determine a new association confidence level of 98%. At 37 Mpc, this makes ESO 601-G036 the third closest FRB host galaxy to be identified to date and the closest to host an apparently non-repeating FRB (with an estimated repetition rate limit of <![CDATA[ $ bursts per day above erg). Due to its close distance, we are able to perform detailed multi-wavelength analysis on the ESO 601-G036 system. Follow-up observations confirm ESO 601-G036 to be a typical star-forming galaxy with H i and stellar masses of and, and a star formation rate of. We detect, for the first time, a diffuse gaseous tail extending to the south-west that suggests recent interactions, likely with the confirmed nearby companion ESO 601-G037. ESO 601-G037 is a stellar shred located to the south of ESO 601-G036 that has an arc-like morphology, is about an order of magnitude less massive, and has a lower gas metallicity that is indicative of a younger stellar population. The properties of the ESO 601-G036 system indicate an ongoing minor merger event, which is affecting the overall gaseous component of the system and the stars within ESO 601-G037. Such activity is consistent with current FRB progenitor models involving magnetars and the signs of recent interactions in other nearby FRB host galaxies.
|Journal||Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jul 2023|