W. Fong, R. Margutti, R. Chornock, E. Berger, B. J. Shappee, A. J. Levan, N. R. Tanvir, N. Smith, P. A. Milne, T. Laskar, D. B. Fox, R. Lunnan, P. K. Blanchard, J. Hjorth, K. Wiersema, A. J. Van Der Horst, D. Zaritsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We present the discovery of the X-ray and optical afterglows of the short-duration GRB 150101B, pinpointing the event to an early-type host galaxy at z = 0.1343 ±0.0030. This makes GRB 150101B the most nearby short gamma-ray burst (GRB) with an early-type host galaxy discovered to date. Fitting the spectral energy distribution of the host galaxy results in an inferred stellar mass of ≈7 × 1010 M, stellar population age of ≈2-2.5 Gyr, and star formation rate of ≲0.4 M yr-1. The host of GRB 150101B is one of the largest and most luminous short GRB host galaxies, with a B-band luminosity of ≈4.3L and half-light radius of ≈8 kpc. GRB 150101B is located at a projected distance of 7.35 ±0.07 kpc from its host center and lies on a faint region of its host rest-frame optical light. Its location, combined with the lack of associated supernova, is consistent with an NS-NS/NS-BH merger progenitor. From modeling the evolution of the broadband afterglow, we calculate isotropic-equivalent gamma-ray and kinetic energies of ≈1.3 × 1049 erg and ≈ (6-14) × 1051 erg, respectively, a circumburst density of ≈ (0.8-4) × 10-5 cm-3, and a jet opening angle of ≳9°. Using observations extending to ≈30 days, we place upper limits of ≲(2-4) ×1041 erg s-1 on associated kilonova emission. We compare searches following previous short GRBs to existing kilonova models and demonstrate the difficulty of performing effective kilonova searches from cosmological short GRBs using current ground-based facilities. We show that at the Advanced LIGO/VIRGO horizon distance of 200 Mpc, searches reaching depths of ≈23-24 AB mag are necessary to probe a meaningful range of kilonova models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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