A luminous blue kilonova and an off-axis jet from a compact binary merger at z=0.1341

Eleanora Troja, Geoffrey Ryan, L. Piro, Hendrik Van Eerten, S. B. Cenko, Y Yoon, S.-K Lee, M. Im, T. Sakamoto, P Gatkine, A. Kutyrev, Sylvain Veilleux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent discovery of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) coincident with the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW170817 revealed the existence of a population of low-luminosity short duration gamma-ray transients produced by neutron star mergers in the nearby Universe. These events could be routinely detected by existing gamma-ray monitors, yet previous observations failed to identify them without the aid of GW triggers. Here we show that GRB150101B is an analogue of GRB170817A located at a cosmological distance. GRB150101B is a faint short burst characterized by a bright optical counterpart and a long-lived X-ray afterglow. These properties are unusual for standard short GRBs and are instead consistent with an explosion viewed off-axis: the optical light is produced by a luminous kilonova, while the observed X-rays trace the GRB afterglow viewed at an angle of ~13°. Our findings suggest that these properties could be common among future electromagnetic counterparts of GW sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4089
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Troja, E., Ryan, G., Piro, L., Van Eerten, H., Cenko, S. B., Yoon, Y., Lee, S. -K., Im, M., Sakamoto, T., Gatkine, P., Kutyrev, A., & Veilleux, S. (2018). A luminous blue kilonova and an off-axis jet from a compact binary merger at z=0.1341. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1-10. [4089]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06558-7