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The discovery of an evolving dust scattering X-ray halo around GRB 031203

By Simon A. Vaughan, Richard Willingale, Paul T. O'Brien, Julian P. Osborne, J. N. Reeves, Andrew J. Levan, Michael G. Watson, Jonathan A. Tedds, M. Santos-Lleó, P. M. Rodriuez-Pascual and N. Schartel


We report the first detection of a time-dependent dust-scattered X-ray halo around a gamma-ray burst (GRB). GRB 031203 was observed by XMM-Newton starting 6 hr after the burst. The halo appeared as concentric ringlike structures centered on the GRB location. The radii of these structures increased with time as t1/2, consistent with small-angle X-ray scattering caused by a large column of dust along the line of sight to a cosmologically distant GRB. The rings are due to dust concentrated in two distinct slabs in the Galaxy located at distances of 880 and 1390 pc, consistent with known Galactic features. The halo brightness implies an initial soft X-ray pulse consistent with the observed GRB

Publisher: American Astronomical Society, IOP Publishing
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1086/382785
OAI identifier:

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