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Title: GRB 090618: Detection of thermal X-ray emission from a bright gamma-ray burst
Authors: Page, K. L.
Starling, R. L. C.
Osborne, J. P.
Pagani, C.
Beardmore, A. P.
Evans, P. A.
Fitzpatrick, G.
McBreen, S.
Pandey, S. B.
Pandey, S. B.
Schady, P.
Campana, S.
Ukwatta, T. N.
First Published: 21-Sep-2011
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2011, 416 (3), pp. 2078-2089
Abstract: GRB 090618 was an extremely bright burst, detected across the electromagnetic spectrum. It has a redshift of 0.54 and a supernova (SN) was identified in ground-based photometry. We present a thorough analysis of the prompt and early afterglow emission using data from Swift, Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor and ROTSE, in which we track the evolution of the synchrotron spectral peak during the prompt emission and through the steep decay phase. We find evidence of a thermal X-ray component alongside the expected non-thermal power-law continuum. Such a component is rare among gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), with firm data for only GRBs 060218 and 100316D so far, and could potentially originate from an SN shock breakout, although there remains doubt regarding this explanation for any of the bursts. However, in contrast to these other Swift GRB–SNe with similar thermal signatures, GRB 090618 is a much more ‘typical’ burst: GRB–SNe 060218 and 100316D were both low-luminosity events, with long durations and low peak energies, while GRB 090618 was more representative of the wider population of long GRBs in all of these areas. It has been argued, based both on theory and observations, that most long GRBs should be accompanied by SNe. If this thermal X-ray component is related to the SN, its detection in GRB 090618, a fairly typical burst in many ways, may prove an important development in the study of the GRB–SN connection.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19183.x
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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