The exceptionally extended flaring activity in the X-ray afterglow of GRB 050730 observed with Swift and XMM-Newton

Astronomy and Astrophysics (Impact Factor: 5.08). 04/2007; DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066227
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We present the results of a detailed spectral and temporal analysis of Swift and XMM-Newton observations of the high redshift (z=3.969) GRB 050730. The X-ray afterglow of GRB 050730 was found to decline with time with superimposed intense flaring activity that extended over more than two orders of magnitude in time. Seven distinct re-brightening events starting from 236 s up to 41.2 ks after the burst were observed. The underlying decay of the afterglow was well described by a double broken power-law model with breaks at t_1= 237 +/- 20 s and t_2 = 10.1 (-2.2) (+4.6) ks. The temporal decay slopes before, between and after these breaks were alpha_1 = 2.1 +/- 0.3, alpha_2 = 0.44 (-0.08) (+0.14) and alpha_3 = 2.40 (+0.07) (-0.09), respectively. The spectrum of the X-ray afterglow was well described by a photoelectrically absorbed power-law with an absorbing column density N_H=(1.28 +/- 0.26) 10^22 cm^-2 in the host galaxy. Strong X-ray spectral evolution during the flaring activity was present. In the majority of the flares (6/7) the ratio Delta_t/t_p between the duration of the event and the time when the flare peaks was nearly constant and about 0.6-0.7. We showed that the observed spectral and temporal properties of the first three flares are consistent with being due both to high-latitude emission, as expected if the flares were produced by late internal shocks, or to refreshed shocks, i.e. late time energy injections into the main afterglow shock by slow moving shells ejected from the central engine during the prompt phase. The event fully satisfies the E_p-E_iso Amati relation while is not consistent with the E_p-E_jet Ghirlanda relation. Comment: 12 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in A&A

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    ABSTRACT: The temporal behaviour of the early optical emission from gamma-ray burst afterglows can be divided into four classes: fast-rising with an early peak, slow-rising with a late peak, flat plateaus and rapid decays since first measurement. The fast-rising optical afterglows display correlations among peak flux, peak epoch and post-peak power-law decay index that can be explained with a structured outflow seen off-axis, but the shock origin (reverse or forward) of the optical emission cannot be determined. The afterglows with plateaus and slow rises may be accommodated by the same model, if observer location offsets are larger than for the fast-rising afterglows, or could be due to a long-lived injection of energy and/or ejecta in the blast wave. If better calibrated with more afterglows, the peak flux–peak epoch relation exhibited by the fast- and slow-rising optical light curves could provide a way to use this type of afterglows as standard candles.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2008; 387(2):497 - 504. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We selected a sample of 33 gamma-ray bursts detected by Swift, with known redshift and optical extinction at the host frame. For these, we constructed the de-absorbed and K-corrected X-ray and optical rest-frame light curves. These are modelled as the sum of two components: emission from the forward shock due to the interaction of a fireball with the circumburst medium and an additional component, treated in a completely phenomenological way. The latter can be identified, among other possibilities, as a ‘late prompt’ emission produced by a long-lived central engine with mechanisms similar to those responsible for the production of the ‘standard’ early prompt radiation. Apart from flares or re-brightenings, that we do not model, we find a good agreement with the data, despite of their complexity and diversity. Although based, in part, on a phenomenological model with a relatively large number of free parameters, we believe that our findings are a first step towards the construction of a more physical scenario. Our approach allows us to interpret the behaviour of the optical and X-ray afterglows in a coherent way, by a relatively simple scenario. Within this context, it is possible to explain why sometimes no jet break is observed; why, even if a jet break is observed, it is often chromatic and why the steepening after the jet break time is often shallower than predicted. Finally, the decay slope of the late prompt emission after the shallow phase is found to be remarkably similar to the time profile expected by the accretion rate of fall-back material (i.e. ∝t−5/3), suggesting that this can be the reason why the central engine can be active for a long time.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2009; 393(1):253 - 271. · 5.52 Impact Factor

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