Full text not available from the LRAGamma-ray bursts (GRBs) come in two classes1: long (>2 s), softspectrum\ud bursts and short, hard events. Most progress has been\ud made on understanding the long GRBs, which are typically\ud observed at high redshift (z < 1) and found in subluminous\ud star-forming host galaxies. They are likely to be produced in\ud core-collapse explosions of massive stars2. In contrast, no short\ud GRB had been accurately (<1000 ) and rapidly (minutes) located.\ud Here we report the detection of the X-ray afterglow from—and the\ud localization of—the short burst GRB 050509B. Its position on the\ud sky is near a luminous, non-star-forming elliptical galaxy at a\ud redshift of 0.225, which is the location one would expect3,4 if the\ud origin of this GRB is through the merger of neutron-star or blackhole\ud binaries. The X-ray afterglow was weak and faded below the\ud detection limit within a few hours; no optical afterglow was\ud detected to stringent limits, explaining the past difficulty in\ud localizing short GRBs
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