Swift Observations of GRB 070110: An Extraordinary X-Ray Afterglow Powered by the Central Engine

E. Troja, G. Cusumano, P.~T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, B. Sbarufatti, V. Mangano, R. Willingale, G. Chincarini, J.~P. Osborne, F.~E. Marshall, D.~N. Burrows, S. Campana, N. Gehrels, C. Guidorzi, H.~A. Krimm, V. La Parola, E.~W. Liang, T. Mineo, A. Moretti, K.~L. PageP. Romano, G. Tagliaferri, B.~B. Zhang, M.~J. Page, P. Schady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract



We present a detailed analysis of Swift multiwavelength observations of GRB 070110 and its remarkable afterglow. The early X-ray light curve, interpreted as the tail of the prompt emission, displays a spectral evolution already seen in other gamma-ray bursts. The optical afterglow shows a shallow decay up to ~2 days after the burst, which is not consistent with standard afterglow models. The most intriguing feature is a very steep decay in the X-ray flux at ~2 × 104 s after the burst, ending an apparent plateau. The abrupt drop of the X-ray light curve rules out an external shock as the origin of the plateau in this burst and implies long-lasting activity of the central engine. The temporal and spectral properties of the plateau phase point toward a continuous central engine emission rather than the episodic emission of X-ray flares. We suggest that the observed X-ray plateau is powered by a spinning-down central engine, possibly a millisecond pulsar, which dissipates energy at an internal radius before depositing energy into the external shock.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume665
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Gamma Rays: Bursts, X-rays: individual (GRB 070110), Astrophysics

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