W. Fong, R. Margutti, R. Chornock, E. Berger, B. J. Shappee, A. J. Levan, N. R. Tanvir, N. Smith, P. A. Milne, T. Laskar, D. B. Fox, R. Lunnan, P. K. Blanchard, J. Hjorth, K. Wiersema, A. J. Van Der Horst, D. Zaritsky

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We present the discovery of the X-ray and optical afterglows of the short-duration GRB 150101B, pinpointing the event to an early-type host galaxy at z = 0.1343 ± 0.0030. This makes GRB 150101B the most nearby short gamma-ray burst (GRB) with an early-type host galaxy discovered to date. Fitting the spectral energy distribution of the host galaxy results in an inferred stellar mass of $\approx 7\times {10}^{10}\,{M}_{\odot }$, stellar population age of ≈2–2.5 Gyr, and star formation rate of lesssim0.4 M ⊙ yr−1. The host of GRB 150101B is one of the largest and most luminous short GRB host galaxies, with a B-band luminosity of $\approx 4.3{L}^{* }$ and half-light radius of ≈8 kpc. GRB 150101B is located at a projected distance of 7.35 ± 0.07 kpc from its host center and lies on a faint region of its host rest-frame optical light. Its location, combined with the lack of associated supernova, is consistent with an NS–NS/NS–BH merger progenitor. From modeling the evolution of the broadband afterglow, we calculate isotropic-equivalent gamma-ray and kinetic energies of $\approx 1.3\times {10}^{49}$ erg and $\approx (6\mbox{--}14)\times {10}^{51}$ erg, respectively, a circumburst density of $\approx (0.8\mbox{--}4)\times {10}^{-5}$ cm−3, and a jet opening angle of gsim9°. Using observations extending to ≈30 days, we place upper limits of $\lesssim (2\mbox{--}4)\times {10}^{41}$ erg s−1 on associated kilonova emission. We compare searches following previous short GRBs to existing kilonova models and demonstrate the difficulty of performing effective kilonova searches from cosmological short GRBs using current ground-based facilities. We show that at the Advanced LIGO/VIRGO horizon distance of 200 Mpc, searches reaching depths of ≈23–24 AB mag are necessary to probe a meaningful range of kilonova models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2016

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Fong, W., Margutti, R., Chornock, R., Berger, E., Shappee, B. J., Levan, A. J., Tanvir, N. R., Smith, N., Milne, P. A., Laskar, T., Fox, D. B., Lunnan, R., Blanchard, P. K., Hjorth, J., Wiersema, K., Van Der Horst, A. J., & Zaritsky, D. (2016). THE AFTERGLOW AND EARLY-TYPE HOST GALAXY OF THE SHORT GRB 150101B AT z = 0.1343. Astrophysical Journal, 833(2), 151.