skip to main content

Title: The Panchromatic Afterglow of GW170817: The Full Uniform Data Set, Modeling, Comparison with Previous Results, and Implications
Abstract We present the full panchromatic afterglow light-curve data of GW170817, including new radio data as well as archival optical and X-ray data, between 0.5 and 940 days post-merger. By compiling all archival data and reprocessing a subset of it, we have evaluated the impact of differences in data processing or flux determination methods used by different groups and attempted to mitigate these differences to provide a more uniform data set. Simple power-law fits to the uniform afterglow light curve indicate a t 0.86±0.04 rise, a t −1.92±0.12 decline, and a peak occurring at 155 ± 4 days. The afterglow is optically thin throughout its evolution, consistent with a single spectral index (−0.584 ± 0.002) across all epochs. This gives a precise and updated estimate of the electron power-law index, p = 2.168 ± 0.004. By studying the diffuse X-ray emission from the host galaxy, we place a conservative upper limit on the hot ionized interstellar medium density, <0.01 cm −3 , consistent with previous afterglow studies. Using the late-time afterglow data we rule out any long-lived neutron star remnant having a magnetic field strength between 10 10.4 and 10 16 G. Our fits to the afterglow data using an analytical model that includes Very Long Baseline Interferometry proper motion from Mooley et al., and a structured jet model that ignores the proper motion, indicates that the proper-motion measurement needs to be considered when seeking an accurate estimate of the viewing angle.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1907975 1816492
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract We present extensive optical photometry of the afterglow of GRB 221009A. Our data cover 0.9–59.9 days from the time of Swift and Fermi gamma-ray burst (GRB) detections. Photometry in rizy -band filters was collected primarily with Pan-STARRS and supplemented by multiple 1–4 m imaging facilities. We analyzed the Swift X-ray data of the afterglow and found a single decline rate power law f ( t ) ∝ t −1.556±0.002 best describes the light curve. In addition to the high foreground Milky Way dust extinction along this line of sight, the data favor additional extinction to consistently model the optical to X-ray flux with optically thin synchrotron emission. We fit the X-ray-derived power law to the optical light curve and find good agreement with the measured data up to 5−6 days. Thereafter we find a flux excess in the riy bands that peaks in the observer frame at ∼20 days. This excess shares similar light-curve profiles to the Type Ic broad-lined supernovae SN 2016jca and SN 2017iuk once corrected for the GRB redshift of z = 0.151 and arbitrarily scaled. This may be representative of an SN emerging from the declining afterglow. We measure rest-frame absolute peak AB magnitudes of M g = −19.8 ± 0.6 and M r = − 19.4 ± 0.3 and M z = −20.1 ± 0.3. If this is an SN component, then Bayesian modeling of the excess flux would imply explosion parameters of M ej = 7.1 − 1.7 + 2.4 M ⊙ , M Ni = 1.0 − 0.4 + 0.6 M ⊙ , and v ej = 33,900 − 5700 + 5900 km s −1 , for the ejecta mass, nickel mass, and ejecta velocity respectively, inferring an explosion energy of E kin ≃ 2.6–9.0 × 10 52 erg. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract We present James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of the afterglow of GRB 221009A, the brightest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever observed. This includes the first mid-IR spectra of any GRB, obtained with JWST/Near Infrared Spectrograph (0.6–5.5 micron) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (5–12 micron), 12 days after the burst. Assuming that the intrinsic spectral slope is a single power law, with F ν ∝ ν − β , we obtain β ≈ 0.35, modified by substantial dust extinction with A V = 4.9. This suggests extinction above the notional Galactic value, possibly due to patchy extinction within the Milky Way or dust in the GRB host galaxy. It further implies that the X-ray and optical/IR regimes are not on the same segment of the synchrotron spectrum of the afterglow. If the cooling break lies between the X-ray and optical/IR, then the temporal decay rates would only match a post-jet-break model, with electron index p < 2, and with the jet expanding into a uniform ISM medium. The shape of the JWST spectrum is near-identical in the optical/near-IR to X-SHOOTER spectroscopy obtained at 0.5 days and to later time observations with HST. The lack of spectral evolution suggests that any accompanying supernova (SN) is either substantially fainter or bluer than SN 1998bw, the proto-type GRB-SN. Our HST observations also reveal a disk-like host galaxy, viewed close to edge-on, that further complicates the isolation of any SN component. The host galaxy appears rather typical among long-GRB hosts and suggests that the extreme properties of GRB 221009A are not directly tied to its galaxy-scale environment. 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT AT 2018hyz (= ASASSN-18zj) is a tidal disruption event (TDE) located in the nucleus of a quiescent E+A galaxy at a redshift of z = 0.04573, first detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We present optical+UV photometry of the transient, as well as an X-ray spectrum and radio upper limits. The bolometric light curve of AT 2018hyz is comparable to other known TDEs and declines at a rate consistent with a t−5/3 at early times, emitting a total radiated energy of E = 9 × 1050 erg. An excess bump appears in the UV light curve about 50 d after bolometric peak, followed by a flattening beyond 250 d. We detect a constant X-ray source present for at least 86 d. The X-ray spectrum shows a total unabsorbed flux of ∼4 × 10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 and is best fit by a blackbody plus power-law model with a photon index of Γ = 0.8. A thermal X-ray model is unable to account for photons >1 keV, while a radio non-detection favours inverse-Compton scattering rather than a jet for the non-thermal component. We model the optical and UV light curves using the Modular Open-Source Fitter for Transients (MOSFiT) and find a best fit for a black hole of 5.2 × 106 M⊙ disrupting a 0.1 M⊙ star; the model suggests the star was likely only partially disrupted, based on the derived impact parameter of β = 0.6. The low optical depth implied by the small debris mass may explain how we are able to see hydrogen emission with disc-like line profiles in the spectra of AT 2018hyz (see our companion paper). 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract We report the discovery of the unusually bright long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB), GRB 221009A, as observed by the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (Swift), Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, and Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer Mission. This energetic GRB was located relatively nearby ( z = 0.151), allowing for sustained observations of the afterglow. The large X-ray luminosity and low Galactic latitude ( b = 4.°3) make GRB 221009A a powerful probe of dust in the Milky Way. Using echo tomography, we map the line-of-sight dust distribution and find evidence for significant column densities at large distances (≳10 kpc). We present analysis of the light curves and spectra at X-ray and UV–optical wavelengths, and find that the X-ray afterglow of GRB 221009A is more than an order of magnitude brighter at T 0 + 4.5 ks than that from any previous GRB observed by Swift. In its rest frame, GRB 221009A is at the high end of the afterglow luminosity distribution, but not uniquely so. In a simulation of randomly generated bursts, only 1 in 10 4 long GRBs were as energetic as GRB 221009A; such a large E γ ,iso implies a narrow jet structure, but the afterglow light curve is inconsistent with simple top-hat jet models. Using the sample of Swift GRBs with redshifts, we estimate that GRBs as energetic and nearby as GRB 221009A occur at a rate of ≲1 per 1000 yr—making this a truly remarkable opportunity unlikely to be repeated in our lifetime. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity ofL= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude toLx∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitively classified with current data.

    more » « less