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Identification of a Local Sample of Gamma-Ray Bursts Consistent with a Magnetar Giant Flare Origin

Burns, E. and Svinkin, D. and Hurley, K. and Wadiasingh, Z. and Negro, M. and Younes, G. and Hamburg, R. and Ridnaia, A. and Cook, D. and Cenko, S. B. and Aloisi, R. and Ashton, G. and Baring, M. and Briggs, M. S. and Christensen, N. and Frederiks, D. and Goldstein, A. and Hui, C. M. and Kaplan, D. L. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Kocevski, D. and Roberts, O. J. and Savchenko, V. and Tohuvavohu, A. and Veres, P. and Wilson-Hodge, C. A. (2021) Identification of a Local Sample of Gamma-Ray Bursts Consistent with a Magnetar Giant Flare Origin. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 907 (2). Art. No. L28. ISSN 2041-8213. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/abd8c8.

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Cosmological gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are known to arise from distinct progenitor channels: short GRBs mostly from neutron star mergers and long GRBs from a rare type of core-collapse supernova (CCSN) called collapsars. Highly magnetized neutron stars called magnetars also generate energetic, short-duration gamma-ray transients called magnetar giant flares (MGFs). Three have been observed from the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies, and they have long been suspected to constitute a third class of extragalactic GRBs. We report the unambiguous identification of a distinct population of four local (<5 Mpc) short GRBs, adding GRB 070222 to previously discussed events. While identified solely based on alignment with nearby star-forming galaxies, their rise time and isotropic energy release are independently inconsistent with the larger short GRB population at >99.9% confidence. These properties, the host galaxies, and nondetection in gravitational waves all point to an extragalactic MGF origin. Despite the small sample, the inferred volumetric rates for events above 4 × 10⁴⁴ erg of R_(MGF) = 3.8^(+4.0)_(−3.1) × 10⁵ Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹ make MGFs the dominant gamma-ray transient detected from extragalactic sources. As previously suggested, these rates imply that some magnetars produce multiple MGFs, providing a source of repeating GRBs. The rates and host galaxies favor common CCSN as key progenitors of magnetars.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Burns, E.0000-0002-2942-3379
Svinkin, D.0000-0002-2208-2196
Wadiasingh, Z.0000-0002-9249-0515
Younes, G.0000-0002-7991-028X
Ridnaia, A.0000-0001-9477-5437
Cook, D.0000-0002-6877-7655
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Aloisi, R.0000-0003-2822-616X
Ashton, G.0000-0001-7288-2231
Baring, M.0000-0003-4433-1365
Christensen, N.0000-0002-6870-4202
Frederiks, D.0000-0002-1153-6340
Goldstein, A.0000-0002-0587-7042
Hui, C. M.0000-0002-0468-6025
Kaplan, D. L.0000-0001-6295-2881
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kocevski, D.0000-0001-9201-4706
Roberts, O. J.0000-0002-7150-9061
Savchenko, V.0000-0001-6353-0808
Tohuvavohu, A.0000-0002-2810-8764
Veres, P.0000-0002-2149-9846
Wilson-Hodge, C. A.0000-0002-8585-0084
Additional Information:© 2021 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 December 1; revised 2021 January 5; accepted 2021 January 5; published 2021 January 28. N.C. is supported by NSF grant PHY-1806990. The Fermi-GBM Collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA in the United States under grant NNM11AA01A and DRL in Germany. The CLU galaxy list made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and operated by the California Institute of Technology, and was supported by the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) project funded by the National Science Foundation under PIRE grant No. 1545949.
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen (DRL)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Gamma-ray bursts ; Magnetars ; Soft gamma-ray repeaters
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Gamma-ray bursts (629); Magnetars (992); Soft gamma-ray repeaters (1471)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210128-145053093
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:E. Burns et al 2021 ApJL 907 L28
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107793
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Jan 2021 23:26
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:06

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