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A short gamma-ray burst apparently associated with an elliptical galaxy at redshift 0.225

By Neil Gehrels, C.L. Sarazin, Paul T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, L. Barbier, Scott D. Barthelmy, A.J. Blustin, David N. Burrows, J. Cannizzo, J.R. Cummings, Michael R. Goad, S. Holland, C.P. Hurkett, Jamie A. Kennea, Andrew J. Levan, C.B. Markwardt, K.O. Mason, P.I. Meszaros, M. Page, D. Palmer, Evert Rol, Takanori Sakamoto, Richard Willingale, Lorella Angelini, Andrew P. Beardmore, P.T. Boyd, A. Breeveld, Sergio Campana, M.M. Chester, Guido Chincarini, L.R. Cominsky, Giancarlo Cusumano, M. de Pasquale, E.E. Fenimore, Paolo Giommi, C. Gronwall, Dirk Grupe, Joanne E. Hill, D. Hinshaw, J. Hjorth, D. Hullinger, K.C. Hurley, S. Klose, Shiho Kobayashi, C. Kouveliotou, H. Krimm, V. Mangano, F.E. Marshall, K. McGowan, Alberto Moretti, R.F. Mushotzky, K. Nakazawa, J.P. Norris, John A. Nousek, Julian P. Osborne, Kim L. Page, A.M. Parsons, S. Patel, M. Perri, T. Poole, Patrizia Romano, P.W.A. Roming, S. Rosen, G. Sato, P. Schady, A.P. Smale, J. Sollerman, R. Starling, M. Still, M. Suzuki, Gianpiero Tagliaferri, T. Takahashi, M. Tashiro, J. Tueller, Alan A. Wells, N.E. White and R.A.M.J. Wijers

Abstract

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

Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1038/nature04142
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/793
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