A structured jet explains the extreme GRB 221009A

Brendan O'Connor, Eleanora Troja, Geoffrey Ryan, Paz Beniamini, Hendrik Van Eerten, J. Granot, Simone Dichiara, R Ricci, V. Lipunov, J. H. Gillanders, Ramandeep Gill, M Moss, S. Anand, I Andreoni, R.L. Becerra, D. Buckley, Nathaniel R. Butler, S. B. Cenko, A. Chasovnikov, J. DurbakC. Francile, E. Hammerstein, Alexander van der Horst, M. M. Kasliwal, C. Kouveliotou, A. Kutyrev, W.H. Lee, G. Srinivasaragavan, V. Topolev, A.M. Watson, Y.-H. Yang, K. Zhirkov

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Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are powerful cosmic explosions, signaling the death of massive stars. Among them, GRB 221009A is by far the brightest burst ever observed. Because of its enormous energy (Eiso ≈ 1055 erg) and proximity (z ≈ 0.15), GRB 221009A is an exceptionally rare event that pushes the limits of our theories. We present multiwavelength observations covering the first 3 months of its afterglow evolution. The x-ray brightness decays as a power law with slope ≈t-1.66, which is not consistent with standard predictions for jetted emission. We attribute this behavior to a shallow energy profile of the relativistic jet. A similar trend is observed in other energetic GRBs, suggesting that the most extreme explosions may be powered by structured jets launched by a common central engine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereadi1405
Number of pages13
Issue number23
Early online date7 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the European Research Council through the Consolidator grant BHianca (grant agreement ID 101002761) and by the National Science Foundation (under award number 12850). The development of afterglow models used in this work was partially supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme under the AHEAD2020 project (grant agreement number 871158). P. B.’s research was supported by a grant (no. 2020747) from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel. J. G.’s research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation- National Natural Science Foundation of China joint research program under grant no. 3296/19. Research at Perimeter Institute is supported in part by the Government of Canada through the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. The material is based upon work supported by NASA under award number 80GSFC21M0002. Based on observations obtained with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA. This work made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Based on observations obtained with MASTER, supported by the Development Program of Lomonosov MSU and the UNU Astrophysical Complex of MSU-ISU (agreement EB-075-15-2021-675). Based on observations obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s OIR Lab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini Observatory partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigaci´on y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnolog´ıa e Innovaci´on (Argentina), Minist´erio da Ciˆencia, Tecnologia, Inovac¸˜oes e Comunicac¸˜oes (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea). The Australia Telescope Compact Array is part of the Australia Telescope National Facility (grid.421683.a) which is funded by the Australian Government for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO. We acknowledge the Gomeroi people as the Traditional Owners of the Observatory site. This paper includes archived data obtained through the Australia Telescope Online Archive.
These results also made use of Lowell Observatory’s Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT), formerly the Discovery Channel Telescope. Lowell operates the LDT in partnership with Boston University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Toledo. Partial support of the LDT was provided by Discovery Communications. LMI was built by Lowell Observatory using funds from the National Science Foundation (AST-1005313). This work made use of data supplied by the UK Swift Science Data Centre at the University of Leicester. Some of the data used in this paper were acquired with the COATLI telescope and HUITZI imager at the Observatorio Astron´omico Nacional on the Sierra de San Pedro M´artir. COATLI is funded by CONACyT (LN 232649, LN 260369, LN 271117, and 277901) and the Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de M´exico (CIC and DGAPA/PAPIIT IG100414, IT102715, AG100317, IN109418, IG100820, and IN105921) and is operated and maintained by the Observatorio Astron´omico Nacional and the Instituto de Astronom´ıa of the Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de M´exico. Based on observations collected at the Palomar Observatory with the 200-inch Hale Telescope, operated by the California institute of Technology, its divisions Caltech Optical Observations, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (operated for NASA) and Cornell 11University. The HST data used in this work was obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts. This research has made use of the XRTDataAnalysis Software (XRTDAS)developedunder the responsibility of the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC), Italy. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Space Science Data Center (SSDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech, USA). This research has made use of data and/or software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC.


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