We present X-ray observations of the afterglow of GRB 000926, performed around and after the break observed in the optical light curve 2 days after the burst. The steep X-ray light curve observed around the break confirms the presence of this feature in X-rays. However, the spectral and temporal properties are not consistent with a standard jet scenario based on synchrotron emission, requiring a more complicated model. We find that X-ray and optical data are compatible with a moderately collimated fireball (with opening angle θ ≈ 25°) expanding in a dense medium (n ≈ 4 × 104 cm-3). This produces two breaks in the light curve. The first, at t ≈ 2 days, is due to jet behavior. The second, around 5 days, is attributed to the transition of the fireball to a nonrelativistic expansion. This transition predicts a flattening of the light curve, which explains the late X-ray measurement in excess above the extrapolation of the simple jet scenario, and is also consistent with optical data.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science