Short-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs; ≤2 s) have remained a mystery due to the lack of afterglow detection until recently. The models to interpret short GRBs invoke distinct progenitor scenarios. Here we present a generic analysis of short GRB afterglows and calculate the optical light curves of short GRBs within the framework of different progenitor models. We show that all these optical afterglows are bright enough to be detected by the Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT) on board the Swift observatory and that different models could be distinguished with a well-monitored light curve. We also model the afterglow data of the recently discovered short burst GRB 040924. We find that the limited data are consistent with a low medium density environment, which is consistent with the preconcept of the compact star merger progenitor model, although the models with a collapsar progenitor are not ruled out.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science