The Swift X-ray Telescope (XRT) has discovered that flares are quite common in early X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), being observed in roughly 50% of afterglows with prompt follow-up observations. The flares range in fluence from a few per cent to approximately 100% of the fluence of the prompt emission (the GRB). Repetitive flares are seen, with more than four successive flares detected by the XRT in some afterglows. The rise and fall times of the flares are typically considerably smaller than the time since the burst. These characteristics suggest that the flares are related to the prompt emission mechanism, but at lower photon energies. We conclude that the most likely cause of these flares is late-time activity of the GRB central engine.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|State||Published - May 15 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)