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Relativistic ejecta from X-ray flash XRF 060218 and the rate of cosmic explosions

Soderberg, A. M. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Nakar, E. and Berger, E. and Cameron, P. B. and Fox, D. B. and Frail, D. A. and Gal-Yam, A. and Sari, R. and Cenko, S. B. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Chevalier, R. A. and Piran, T. and Price, P. A. and Schmidt, B. P. and Pooley, G. and Moon, D. S. and Penprase, B. E. and Ofek, E. O. and Rau, A. and Gehrels, N. and Nousek, J. A. and Burrows, D. N. and Persson, S. E. and McCarthy, P. J. (2006) Relativistic ejecta from X-ray flash XRF 060218 and the rate of cosmic explosions. Nature, 442 (7106). pp. 1014-1017. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Over the past decade, long-duration γ-ray bursts (GRBs)—including the subclass of X-ray flashes (XRFs)—have been revealed to be a rare variety of type Ibc supernova. Although all these events result from the death of massive stars, the electromagnetic luminosities of GRBs and XRFs exceed those of ordinary type Ibc supernovae by many orders of magnitude. The essential physical process that causes a dying star to produce a GRB or XRF, and not just a supernova, is still unknown. Here we report radio and X-ray observations of XRF 060218 (associated4 with supernova SN 2006aj), the second-nearest GRB identified until now. We show that this event is a hundred times less energetic but ten times more common than cosmological GRBs. Moreover, it is distinguished from ordinary type Ibc supernovae by the presence of 10^48 erg coupled to mildly relativistic ejecta, along with a central engine (an accretion-fed, rapidly rotating compact source) that produces X-rays for weeks after the explosion. This suggests that the production of relativistic ejecta is the key physical distinction between GRBs or XRFs and ordinary supernovae, while the nature of the central engine (black hole or magnetar) may distinguish typical bursts from low-luminosity, spherical events like XRF 060218.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription RedCube access Information
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Berger, E.0000-0002-9392-9681
Fox, D. B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Additional Information:© 2006 Nature Publishing Group. Received 18 April; accepted 13 July 2006. GRB research at Caltech is supported in part by funds from NSF and NASA. We are, as always, indebted to S. Barthelmy and the GCN. 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. A.M.S. and S.B.C. are supported by NASA Graduate Research Fellowships. E.B. and A.G.-Y. acknowledge support by NASA through a Hubble Fellowship grant. D.N.B. and J.A.N. acknowledge support by NASA.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Research Fellowship UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7106
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150331-143417251
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Official Citation:Soderberg, A. M., Kulkarni, S. R., Nakar, E., Berger, E., Cameron, P. B., Fox, D. B., . . . McCarthy, P. J. (2006). Relativistic ejecta from X-ray flash XRF 060218 and the rate of cosmic explosions. [10.1038/nature05087]. Nature, 442(7106), 1014-1017.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56254
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:31 Mar 2015 23:12
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:12

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