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Detection of a radio counterpart to the 27 December 2004 giant flare from SGR 1806-20

Cameron, P. B. and Chandra, P. and Ray, A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Frail, D. A. and Wieringa, M. H. and Nakar, E. and Phinney, E. S. and Miyazaki, Atsushi and Tsuboi, Masato and Okumura, Sachiko and Kawai, N. and Menten, K. M. and Bertoldi, F. (2005) Detection of a radio counterpart to the 27 December 2004 giant flare from SGR 1806-20. Nature, 434 (7037). pp. 1112-1115. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature03605.

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It was established over a decade ago that the remarkable high-energy transients known as soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are located in our Galaxy and originate from neutron stars with intense (≤ 10^(15)G) magnetic fields—so-called 'magnetars'. On 27 December 2004, a giant flare with a fluence exceeding 0.3 erg cm^(-2) was detected from SGR 1806–20. Here we report the detection of a fading radio counterpart to this event. We began a monitoring programme from 0.2 to 250 GHz and obtained a high-resolution 21-cm radio spectrum that traces the intervening interstellar neutral hydrogen clouds. Analysis of the spectrum yields the first direct distance measurement of SGR 1806 - 20: the source is located at a distance greater than 6.4 kpc and we argue that it is nearer than 9.8 kpc. If correct, our distance estimate lowers the total energy of the explosion and relaxes the demands on theoretical models. The energetics and the rapid decay of the radio source are not compatible with the afterglow model that is usually invoked for gamma-ray bursts. Instead, we suggest that the rapidly decaying radio emission arises from the debris ejected during the explosion.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper Information ReadCube access
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Nakar, E.0000-0002-4534-7089
Kawai, N.0000-0001-9656-0261
Menten, K. M.0000-0001-6459-0669
Bertoldi, F.0000-0002-1707-1775
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 9 February 2005; Accepted 5 April 2005. ATCA is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operations as a National Facility managed by CSIRO. We thank K. Newton-McGee and B. Gaensler for scheduling and performing observations with the ATCA. GMRT is run by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics—Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India. We thank the GMRT staff and in particular C. H. Ishwara-Chandra and D. V. Lal for help with observations and analysis. The VLA is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. NMA is a branch of the National Astronomical Observatory, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Japan. IRAMis supported by INSU/CNRS (France),MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain). We thank A. Weiss from IRAM for help with the observations. We gratefully acknowledge discussions with S. Corbel, S. S. Eikenberry and R. Sari. Our work is supported in part by the NSF and NASA.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO)UNSPECIFIED
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7037
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150325-152544642
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Official Citation:Detection of a radio counterpart to the 27 December 2004 giant flare from SGR 1806−20 p1112-1115 P. B. Cameron, P. Chandra, A. Ray, S. R. Kulkarni, D. A. Frail, M. H. Wieringa, E. Nakar, E. S. Phinney, Atsushi Miyazaki, Masato Tsuboi, Sachiko Okumura, N. Kawai, K. M. Menten and F. Bertoldi doi: 10.1038/nature03605
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56088
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 02:34
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:54

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