A Caltech Library Service

GRB 070610: a curious galactic transient

Kasliwal, M. M. and Cenko, S. B. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Cameron, P. and Nakar, E. and Ofek, E. O. and Rau, A. and Soderberg, A. M. and Campana, S. and Bloom, J. S. and Perley, D. A. and Pollack, L. K. and Barthelmy, S. and Cummings, J. and Gehrels, N. and Krimm, H. A. and Markwardt, C. B. and Sato, G. and Chandra, P. and Frail, D. and Fox, D. B. and Price, P. A. and Berger, E. and Grebenev, S. A. and Krivonos, R. A. and Sunyaev, R. A. (2008) GRB 070610: a curious galactic transient. Astrophysical Journal, 678 (2). pp. 1127-1135. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/526407.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


GRB 070610 is a typical high-energy event with a duration of 5 s. Yet within the burst localization we detect a highly unusual X-ray and optical transient, Swift J195509.6+261406. We see high-amplitude X-ray and optical variability on very short timescales even at late times. Using near-infrared imaging assisted by a laser guide star and adaptive optics, we identified the counterpart of Swift J195509.6+261406. Late-time optical and near-infrared imaging constrain the spectral type of the counterpart to be fainter than a K-dwarf, assuming it is of Galactic origin. It is possible that GRB 070610 and Swift J195509.6+261406 are unrelated sources. However, the absence of a typical X-ray afterglow from GRB 070610 in conjunction with the spatial and temporal coincidence of the two motivate us to suggest that the sources are related. The closest (imperfect) analog to Swift J195509.6+261406 is V4641 Sgr, an unusual black hole binary. We suggest that Swift J195509.6+261406 along with V4641 Sgr define a subclass of stellar black hole binaries—the fast X-ray novae. We further suggest that fast X-ray novae are associated with bursts of gamma rays. If so, GRB 070610 defines a new class of celestial gamma-ray bursts and these bursts dominate the long-duration GRB demographics.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Nakar, E.0000-0002-4534-7089
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Rau, A.0000-0001-5990-6243
Bloom, J. S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Perley, D. A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Krimm, H. A.0000-0003-4348-6058
Markwardt, C. B.0000-0001-9803-3879
Fox, D. B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Berger, E.0000-0002-9392-9681
Krivonos, R. A.0000-0003-2737-5673
Additional Information:© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 August 1; accepted 2007 November 5. We thank M. van Kerkwijk for help with Keck observations and discussions. We thank J. Cohen, J. Simon, A. Kraus, M. Muno, E. S. Phinney, and R. Narayan for valuable discussions. We also acknowledge D. Law, T. Treu, and P. Marshall. As always, we are grateful to the selfless librarians and astronomers who maintain the Simbad database. M. M. K. thanks the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for support with the George Ellory Hale Fellowship. S. B. C. and A. M. S. are supported by a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. J. S. B. is a Sloan Research Fellow and is partially supported by a Hellman Faculty Award. P. C. S. is supported by a Jansky Fellowship. E. B. is supported by a Hubble fellowship. GRB research at Caltech is supported in part by grants from NSF (AST program) and NASA (Swift and HST missions).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
George Ellory Hale FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Hellman Faculty AwardUNSPECIFIED
Jansky FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:gamma rays: bursts; stars: flare; X-rays: binaries; X-rays: bursts; X-rays: individual (Swift J195509.6+261406)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KASapj08a
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13832
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Apr 2009 23:22
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page