ILLUMINATING THE DARKEST GAMMA-RAY BURSTS WITH RADIO OBSERVATIONS

B. A. Zauderer, E. Berger, R. Margutti, A. J. Levan, F. Olivares E., D. A. Perley, W. Fong, A. Horesh, A. C. Updike, J. Greiner, N. R. Tanvir, T. Laskar, R. Chornock, A. M. Soderberg, K. M. Menten, E. Nakar, J. Carpenter, P. Chandra, A. J. Castro-tirado, M. BremerJ. Gorosabel, S. Guziy, D. Pérez-ramírez, J. M. Winters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present X-ray, optical, near-infrared (IR), and radio observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) 110709B and 111215A, as well as optical and near-IR observations of their host galaxies. The combination of X-ray detections and deep optical/near-IR limits establish both bursts as "dark." Sub-arcsecond positions enabled by radio detections lead to robust host galaxy associations, with optical detections that indicate z lesssim 4 (110709B) and z ≈ 1.8-2.9 (111215A). We therefore conclude that both bursts are dark due to substantial rest-frame extinction. Using the radio and X-ray data for each burst we find that GRB 110709B requires $A_V^{\rm host}\gtrsim 5.3$ mag and GRB 111215A requires $A_V^{\rm host}\gtrsim 8.5$ mag (assuming z = 2). These are among the largest extinction values inferred for dark bursts to date. The two bursts also exhibit large neutral hydrogen column densities of N H, int gsim 1022 cm–2 (z = 2) as inferred from their X-ray spectra, in agreement with the trend for dark GRBs. Moreover, the inferred values are in agreement with the Galactic AV -N H relation, unlike the bulk of the GRB population. Finally, we find that for both bursts the afterglow emission is best explained by a collimated outflow with a total beaming-corrected energy of E γ + EK ≈ (7-9) × 1051 erg (z = 2) expanding into a wind medium with a high density, $\dot{M}\approx (6\hbox{--}20)\times 10^{-5}$ M ☉ yr–1 (n ≈ 100-350 cm–3 at ≈1017 cm). While the energy release is typical of long GRBs, the inferred density may be indicative of larger mass-loss rates for GRB progenitors in dusty (and hence metal rich) environments. This study establishes the critical role of radio observations in demonstrating the origin and properties of dark GRBs. Observations with the JVLA and ALMA will provide a sample with sub-arcsecond positions and robust host associations that will help to shed light on obscured star formation and the role of metallicity in GRB progenitors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume767
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'ILLUMINATING THE DARKEST GAMMA-RAY BURSTS WITH RADIO OBSERVATIONS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this