Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow

Carole G. Mundell, Iain A. Steels, Robert J. Smith, Shiho Kobayashi, Andrea Melandri, Cristiano Guidorzi, Andreja Gomboc, Chris J. Mottram, David Clarke, Alessandro Monfardini, David Carter, David Bersier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We report the optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglow, obtained 203 seconds after the initial burst of γ-rays from GRB 060418, using a ring polarimeter on the robotic Liverpool Telescope. Our robust (2σ) upper limit on the percentage of polarization, less than 8%, coincides with the fireball deceleration time at the onset of the afterglow. The combination of the rate of decay of the optical brightness and the low polarization at this critical time constrains standard models of GRB ejecta, ruling out the presence of a large-scale ordered magnetic field in the emitting region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1822-1824
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume315
Issue number5820
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2007

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optical polarization
afterglows
gamma ray bursts
fireballs
polarimeters
polarization
deceleration
ejecta
robotics
bursts
brightness
gamma rays
telescopes
rings
decay
magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Mundell, C. G., Steels, I. A., Smith, R. J., Kobayashi, S., Melandri, A., Guidorzi, C., ... Bersier, D. (2007). Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow. Science, 315(5820), 1822-1824. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1138484

Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow. / Mundell, Carole G.; Steels, Iain A.; Smith, Robert J.; Kobayashi, Shiho; Melandri, Andrea; Guidorzi, Cristiano; Gomboc, Andreja; Mottram, Chris J.; Clarke, David; Monfardini, Alessandro; Carter, David; Bersier, David.

In: Science, Vol. 315, No. 5820, 30.03.2007, p. 1822-1824.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mundell, CG, Steels, IA, Smith, RJ, Kobayashi, S, Melandri, A, Guidorzi, C, Gomboc, A, Mottram, CJ, Clarke, D, Monfardini, A, Carter, D & Bersier, D 2007, 'Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow', Science, vol. 315, no. 5820, pp. 1822-1824. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1138484
Mundell CG, Steels IA, Smith RJ, Kobayashi S, Melandri A, Guidorzi C et al. Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow. Science. 2007 Mar 30;315(5820):1822-1824. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1138484
Mundell, Carole G. ; Steels, Iain A. ; Smith, Robert J. ; Kobayashi, Shiho ; Melandri, Andrea ; Guidorzi, Cristiano ; Gomboc, Andreja ; Mottram, Chris J. ; Clarke, David ; Monfardini, Alessandro ; Carter, David ; Bersier, David. / Early optical polarization of a gamma-ray burst afterglow. In: Science. 2007 ; Vol. 315, No. 5820. pp. 1822-1824.
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