GRB 090727 and gamma-ray bursts with early-time optical emission

D. Kopač, S. Kobayashi, A. Gomboc, J. Japelj, C. G. Mundell, C. Guidorzi, A. Melandri, D. Bersier, Z. Cano, R. J. Smith, I. A. Steele, F. J. Virgili

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26 Citations (SciVal)


We present a multi-wavelength analysis of Swift gamma-ray burst GRB 090727, for which optical emission was detected during the prompt gamma-ray emission by the 2 m autonomous robotic Liverpool Telescope and subsequently monitored for a further two days with the Liverpool and Faulkes Telescopes. Within the context of the standard fireball model, we rule out a reverse shock origin for the early-time optical emission in GRB 090727 and instead conclude that the early-time optical flash likely corresponds to emission from an internal dissipation process. Putting GRB 090727 into a broader observational and theoretical context, we build a sample of 36 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with contemporaneous early-time optical and gamma-ray detections. From these GRBs, we extract a sub-sample of 18 GRBs, which show optical peaks during prompt gamma-ray emission, and perform detailed temporal and spectral analysis in gamma-ray, X-ray, and optical bands. We find that in most cases early-time optical emission shows sharp and steep behavior, and notice a rich diversity of spectral properties. Using a simple internal shock dissipation model, we show that the emission during prompt GRB phase can occur at very different frequencies via synchrotron radiation. Based on the results obtained from observations and simulation, we conclude that the standard external shock interpretation for early-time optical emission is disfavored in most cases due to sharp peaks (Δt/t < 1) and steep rise/decay indices, and that internal dissipation can explain the properties of GRBs with optical peaks during gamma-ray emission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013


  • gamma-ray burst: general
  • gamma-ray burst: individual (GRB 090727)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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