A short gamma-ray burst apparently associated with an elliptical galaxy at redshift z = 0.225

N. Gehrels, C.~L. Sarazin, P.~T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, L. Barbier, S.~D. Barthelmy, A. Blustin, D.~N. Burrows, J. Cannizzo, J.~R. Cummings, M. Goad, S.~T. Holland, C.~P. Hurkett, J.~A. Kennea, A. Levan, C.~B. Markwardt, K.~O. Mason, P. Meszaros, M. Page, D.~M. PalmerE. Rol, T. Sakamoto, R. Willingale, L. Angelini, A. Beardmore, P.~T. Boyd, A. Breeveld, S. Campana, M.~M. Chester, G. Chincarini, L.~R. Cominsky, G. Cusumano, M. de Pasquale, E.~E. Fenimore, P. Giommi, C. Gronwall, D. Grupe, J.~E. Hill, D. Hinshaw, J. Hjorth, D. Hullinger, K.~C. Hurley, S. Klose, S. Kobayashi, C. Kouveliotou, H.~A. Krimm, V. Mangano, F.~E. Marshall, K. McGowan, A. Moretti, R.~F. Mushotzky, K. Nakazawa, J.~P. Norris, J.~A. Nousek, J.~P. Osborne, K. Page, A.~M. Parsons, S. Patel, M. Perri, T. Poole, P. Romano, P.~W.~A. Roming, S. Rosen, G. Sato, P. Schady, A.~P. Smale, J. Sollerman, R. Starling, M. Still, M. Suzuki, G. Tagliaferri, T. Takahashi, M. Tashiro, J. Tueller, A.~A. Wells, N.~E. White, R.~A.~M.~J. Wijers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

452 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) come in two classes1: long (> 2 s), soft-spectrum bursts and short, hard events. Most progress has been made on understanding the long GRBs, which are typically observed at high redshift (z ≈ 1) and found in subluminous star-forming host galaxies. They are likely to be produced in core-collapse explosions of massive stars2. In contrast, no short GRB had been accurately (< 10″) and rapidly (minutes) located. Here we report the detection of the X-ray afterglow from—and the localization of—the short burst GRB 050509B. Its position on the sky is near a luminous, non-star-forming elliptical galaxy at a redshift of 0.225, which is the location one would expect3,4 if the origin of this GRB is through the merger of neutron-star or black-hole binaries. The X-ray afterglow was weak and faded below the detection limit within a few hours; no optical afterglow was detected to stringent limits, explaining the past difficulty in localizing short GRBs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-854
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume437
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Astrophysics

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