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Title: Density Profiles of Collapsed Rotating Massive Stars Favor Long Gamma-Ray Bursts

Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (lGRBs) originate in relativistic collimated outflows—jets—that drill their way out of collapsing massive stars. Accurately modeling this process requires realistic stellar profiles for the jets to propagate through and break out of. Most previous studies have used simple power laws or pre-collapse models for massive stars. However, the relevant stellar profile for lGRB models is in fact that of a star after its core has collapsed to form a compact object. To self-consistently compute such a stellar profile, we use the open-source code GR1D to simulate the core-collapse process for a suite of low-metallicity rotating massive stellar progenitors that have undergone chemically homogeneous evolution. Our models span a range of zero-age main-sequence (ZAMS) masses:MZAMS= 13, 18, 21, 25, 35, 40, and 45M. All of these models, at the onset of core-collapse, feature steep density profiles,ρrα, withα≈ 2.5, which would result in jets that are inconsistent with lGRB observables. We follow the collapses of four of the seven models until they form black holes (BHs) and the other three models until they form proto-neutron stars (PNSs). We find, across all models, that the density profile outside the newly formed BH or PNS is well represented by a more » flatter power law withα≈ 1.35–1.55. Such flat density profiles are conducive to the successful formation and breakout of BH-powered jets and are, in fact, required to reproduce observable properties of lGRBs. Future models of lGRBs should be initialized with shallower post-collapse stellar profiles, like those presented here, instead of the much steeper pre-collapse profiles that are typically used.

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The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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Article No. L38
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
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National Science Foundation
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