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Published July 1, 2002 | Published
Journal Article Open

Unusually Long Duration Gamma‐Ray Burst GRB 000911: Discovery of the Afterglow and Host Galaxy


Of all the well-localized gamma-ray bursts, GRB 000911 has the longest duration (T_(90) = 500 s) and ranks in the top 1% of BATSE bursts for fluence. Here we report the discovery of the afterglow of this unique burst. In order to simultaneously fit our radio and optical observations, we are required to invoke a model involving a hard electron distribution, p ~ 1.5, and a jet-break time less than 1.5 days. A spectrum of the host galaxy taken 111 days after the burst reveals a single emission line, interpreted as [O II] at a redshift z = 1.0585, and a continuum break that we interpret as the Balmer limit at this redshift. Despite the long T_(90), the afterglow of GRB 000911 is not unusual in any other way when compared to the set of afterglows studied to date. We conclude that the duration of the GRB plays little part in determining the physics of the afterglow.

Additional Information

© 2002 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2001 October 12; accepted 2002 March 10. Partially based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the California Association for Research in Astronomy, a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. S. R. K. and S. G. D. thank NSF for support of our ground-based GRB observing program. We are grateful to the staff of the Mount Stromlo and Keck Observatories for their expert help. P. A. P. gratefully acknowledges an Alex Rodgers Travelling Scholarship. J. S. B. gratefully acknowledges the fellowship support from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. K. H. is grateful for Ulysses support under JPL contract 958056, and for IPN support under the NEAR Participating Scientist program, NAG 5-9503, and under the LTSA, NAG 5-3500. The Konus/Wind experiment was supported by RFBR grant 99-02-017031 and CRDF grant RPI-2260.

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