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Title: Can X-ray emission powered by a spinning-down magnetar explain some gamma-ray burst light-curve features?
Authors: Lyons, N.
O'Brien, P. T.
Willingale, R.
Troja, E.
Starling, R. L. C.
Zhang, B.
Troja, E.
First Published: 21-Feb-2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2010, 402 (2), pp. 705-712
Abstract: Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are thought to be produced by the core-collapse of a rapidly rotating massive star. This event generates a highly relativistic jet and prompt gamma-ray and X-ray emission arises from internal shocks in the jet or magnetized outflows. If the stellar core does not immediately collapse to a black hole, it may form an unstable, highly magnetized millisecond pulsar or magnetar. As it spins down, the magnetar would inject energy into the jet causing a distinctive bump in the GRB light curve where the emission becomes fairly constant followed by a steep decay when the magnetar collapses. We assume that the collapse of a massive star to a magnetar can launch the initial jet. By automatically fitting the X-ray light curves of all GRBs observed by the Swift satellite, we identified a subset of bursts which have a feature in their light curves which we call an internal plateau – unusually constant emission followed by a steep decay – which may be powered by a magnetar. We use the duration and luminosity of this internal plateau to place limits on the magnetar spin period and magnetic field strength, and find that they are consistent with the most extreme predicted values for magnetars.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15538.x
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2010 the authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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