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The afterglow and elliptical host galaxy of the short big γ-ray burst GRB 050724

Berger, E. and Price, P. A. and Cenko, S. B. and Gal-Yam, A. and Soderberg, A. M. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Leonard, D. C. and Cameron, P. B. and Frail, D. A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Murphy, D. C. and Krzeminski, W. and Piran, T. and Lee, B. L. and Roth, K. C. and Moon, D. S. and Fox, D. B. and Harrison, F. A. and Persson, S. E. E. and Schmidt, B. P. and Penprase, B. E. and Rich, J. and Peterson, B. A. and Cowie, L. L. (2005) The afterglow and elliptical host galaxy of the short big γ-ray burst GRB 050724. Nature, 438 (7070). pp. 988-990. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Despite a rich phenomenology, γ-ray bursts (GRBs) are divided1 into two classes based on their duration and spectral hardness—the long-soft and the short-hard bursts. The discovery of afterglow emission from long GRBs was a watershed event, pinpointing their origin to star-forming galaxies, and hence the death of massive stars, and indicating an energy release of about 10^(51) erg. While theoretical arguments suggest that short GRBs are produced in the coalescence of binary compact objects (neutron stars or black holes), the progenitors, energetics and environments of these events remain elusive despite recent localizations. Here we report the discovery of the first radio afterglow from the short burst GRB 050724, which unambiguously associates it with an elliptical galaxy at a redshift z = 0.257. We show that the burst is powered by the same relativistic fireball mechanism as long GRBs, with the ejecta possibly collimated in jets, but that the total energy release is 10–1,000 times smaller. More importantly, the nature of the host galaxy demonstrates that short GRBs arise from an old (> 1 Gyr) stellar population, strengthening earlier suggestions and providing support for coalescing compact object binaries as the progenitors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Berger, E.0000-0002-9392-9681
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Piran, T.0000-0002-7964-5420
Moon, D. S.0000-0003-4200-5064
Fox, D. B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Harrison, F. A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Schmidt, B. P.0000-0001-6589-1287
Rich, J.0000-0002-5807-5078
Cowie, L. L.0000-0002-6319-1575
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 3 August; accepted 14 September 2005. We are, as always, indebted to S. Barthelmy and the GCN. GRB research at Carnegie and Caltech is supported in part by funds from NASA. E.B. and A.G.Y. are supported by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grants awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., for NASA. The VLA is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
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Issue or Number:7070
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150331-092218774
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Official Citation:Berger, E., Price, P. A., Cenko, S. B., Gal-Yam, A., Soderberg, A. M., Kasliwal, M., . . . Cowie, L. L. (2005). The afterglow and elliptical host galaxy of the short [gamma]-ray burst GRB 050724. [10.1038/nature04238]. Nature, 438(7070), 988-990.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56235
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:31 Mar 2015 18:58
Last Modified:20 Nov 2019 21:58

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