GRB 100418A is a long gamma-ray burst (GRB) at redshift z = 0.6235 discovered with the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer with unusual optical and X-ray light curves. After an initial short-lived, rapid decline in X-rays, the optical and X-ray light curves observed with Swift are approximately flat or rising slightly out to at least ∼7 × 103 s after the trigger, peak at ∼5 × 104 s, and then follow an approximately power-law decay. Such a long optical plateau and late peaking is rarely seen in GRB afterglows. Observations with Rapid Eye Mount during a gap in the Swift coverage indicate a bright optical flare at ∼2.5 × 10 4 s. The long plateau phase of the afterglow is interpreted using either a model with continuous injection of energy into the forward shock of the burst or a model in which the jet of the burst is viewed off-axis. In both models the isotropic kinetic energy in the late afterglow after the plateau phase is ≥102 times the 1051 erg of the prompt isotropic gamma-ray energy release. The energy injection model is favored because the off-axis jet model would require the intrinsic T90 for the GRB jet viewed on-axis to be very short, ∼10 ms, and the intrinsic isotropic gamma-ray energy release and the true jet energy to be much higher than the typical values of known short GRBs. The non-detection of a jet break up to t ∼ 2 × 106 s indicates a jet half-opening angle of at least ∼14°, and a relatively high-collimation-corrected jet energy of Ejet ≥ 1052 erg.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science