Optical classification of gamma-ray bursts in the swift era

A. J. Van Der Horst, C. Kouveliotou, N. Gehrels, E. Rol, R. A.M.J. Wijers, J. K. Cannizzo, J. Racusin, D. N. Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose a new method for the classification of optically dark gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), based on the X-ray and optical-to-X-ray spectral indices of GRB afterglows, and utilizing the spectral capabilities of Swift. This method depends less on model assumptions than previous methods, and can be used as a quick diagnostic tool to identify optically sub-luminous bursts. With this method we can also find GRBs that are extremely bright at optical wavelengths. We show that the previously suggested correlation between the optical darkness and the X-ray/gamma-ray brightness is merely an observational selection effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1091
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume699
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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