Swift observations of GRB 070110: An extraordinary x-ray afterglow powered by the central engine

E. Troja, G. Cusumano, P. T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, B. Sbarufatti, V. Mangano, R. Willingale, G. Chincarini, J. P. Osborne, F. E. Marshall, D. N. Burrows, S. Campana, N. Gehrels, C. Guidorzi, H. A. Krimm, V. L. La Parola, E. W. Liang, T. Mineo, A. Moretti, K. L. PageP. Romano, G. Tagliaferri, B. B. Zhang, M. J. Page, P. Schady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


We present a detailed analysis of Swift multiwavelength observations of GRB 070110 and its remarkable afterglow. The early X-ray light curve, interpreted as the tail of the prompt emission, displays a spectral evolution already seen in other gamma-ray bursts. The optical afterglow shows a shallow decay up to ∼2 days after the burst, which is not consistent with standard afterglow models. The most intriguing feature is a very steep decay in the X-ray flux at ∼2 × 104 s after the burst, ending an apparent plateau. The abrupt drop of the X-ray light curve rules out an external shock as the origin of the plateau in this burst and implies long-lasting activity of the central engine. The temporal and spectral properties of the plateau phase point toward a continuous central engine emission rather than the episodic emission of X-ray flares. We suggest that the observed X-ray plateau is powered by a spinning-down central engine, possibly a millisecond pulsar, which dissipates energy at an internal radius before depositing energy into the external shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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