Ofek, E. O. and Muno, M. and Quimby, R. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Stiele, H. and Pietsch, W. and Nakar, E. and Gal-Yam, A. and Rau, A. and Cameron, P. B. and Cenko, S. B. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Fox, D. B. and Chandra, P. and Kong, A. K. H. and Barnard, R. (2008) GRB 070201: A possible soft gamma-ray repeater in M31. Astrophysical Journal, 681 (2). pp. 1464-1469. ISSN 0004-637X http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090505-092712678
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GRB 070201 was a bright, short-duration, hard-spectrum gamma-ray burst detected by the Interplanetary Network. Its error quadrilateral, which has an area of 0.124 deg^2, intersects some prominent spiral arms of the nearby M31 (Andromeda) galaxy. Given the properties of this GRB, along with the fact that LIGO data argue against a compact binary merger origin in M31, it is an excellent candidate to have been an extragalactic soft gamma-ray repeater (SGR) giant flare, with an energy of 1.4 × 10^45 ergs. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that it was a short-duration GRB in the background. Analysis of ROTSE-IIIb visible-light observations of M31, taken 10.6 hr after the burst and covering 42% of the GRB error region, does not reveal any optical transient down to a limiting magnitude of 17.1. We inspected archival and proprietary XMM-Newton X-ray observations of the intersection of the GRB error region and M31, obtained about 4 weeks prior to the outburst, in order to look for periodic variable X-ray sources. No SGR or anomalous X-ray pulsar (AXP) candidates (periods in the range 1-20 s) were detected. We discuss the possibility of detecting extragalactic SGRs/AXPs by identifying their periodic X-ray light curves. Our simulations suggest that the probability of detecting the periodic X-ray signal of one of the known Galactic SGRs/AXPs, if placed in M31, is about 10% using a 50 ks XMM-Newton exposure, increasing to 50% for a 2 Ms observation.
|Additional Information:||© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 December 13; accepted 2008 February 18. This work is supported in part by grants from NSF and NASA. H. S. acknowledges support from the Bundesministerium fur Wirtschaft und Technologie/Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (BMWI/DLR, FKZ 50 OR 0405). M. M. K. acknowledges the Moore Foundation for the George Ellory Hale Fellowship.|
|Subject Keywords:||galaxies: individual (M31); gamma rays: bursts; pulsars: general; stars: neutron; X-rays: individual (GRB 070201)|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Tony Diaz|
|Deposited On:||11 May 2009 21:36|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 10:59|
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