A Burrows

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, MD, United States

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Publications (3)90.98 Total impact

  • Source
    S. Kobayashi · B. Zhang · P. Mészáros · and D. Burrows
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    ABSTRACT: We study synchrotron self-inverse Compton radiation from a reverse shock fireball. If the inverse Compton process dominates the cooling of shocked electrons, an X-ray flare produced by the first-order Compton scattering would emerge in the very early afterglow phase, with the bulk of the shock energy radiated in the second-order scattering component at 10-100 MeV. The dominance of inverse Compton cooling leads to the lack of prompt optical flashes. We show that for plausible parameters this scattering process can produce an X-ray flare with a relative amplitude change of a factor of several. Flares with a larger amplitude and multiple X-ray flares in a single event are likely to be produced by another mechanism (e.g., internal shocks).
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2008; 655(1):391. DOI:10.1086/510198 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Massive stars end their short lives in spectacular explosions-supernovae-that synthesize new elements and drive galaxy evolution. Historically, supernovae were discovered mainly through their `delayed' optical light (some days after the burst of neutrinos that marks the actual event), preventing observations in the first moments following the explosion. As a result, the progenitors of some supernovae and the events leading up to their violent demise remain intensely debated. Here we report the serendipitous discovery of a supernova at the time of the explosion, marked by an extremely luminous X-ray outburst. We attribute the outburst to the `break-out' of the supernova shock wave from the progenitor star, and show that the inferred rate of such events agrees with that of all core-collapse supernovae. We predict that future wide-field X-ray surveys will catch each year hundreds of supernovae in the act of exploding.
    Nature 08/2008; 454(7201):246. DOI:10.1038/nature07134 · 42.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Massive stars end their short lives in spectacular explosions--supernovae--that synthesize new elements and drive galaxy evolution. Historically, supernovae were discovered mainly through their 'delayed' optical light (some days after the burst of neutrinos that marks the actual event), preventing observations in the first moments following the explosion. As a result, the progenitors of some supernovae and the events leading up to their violent demise remain intensely debated. Here we report the serendipitous discovery of a supernova at the time of the explosion, marked by an extremely luminous X-ray outburst. We attribute the outburst to the 'break-out' of the supernova shock wave from the progenitor star, and show that the inferred rate of such events agrees with that of all core-collapse supernovae. We predict that future wide-field X-ray surveys will catch each year hundreds of supernovae in the act of exploding.
    Nature 06/2008; 453(7194):469-74. DOI:10.1038/nature06997 · 42.35 Impact Factor