A short gamma-ray burst apparently associated with an elliptical galaxy at redshift z = 0.225.
journal contributionposted on 09.10.2019, 14:33 by N Gehrels, CL Sarazin, PT O'Brien, B Zhang, L Barbier, SD Barthelmy, A Blustin, DN Burrows, J Cannizzo, JR Cummings, M Goad, ST Holland, CP Hurkett, JA Kennea, A Levan, CB Markwardt, KO Mason, P Meszaros, M Page, DM Palmer, E Rol, T Sakamoto, R Willingale, L Angelini, A Beardmore, PT Boyd, A Breeveld, S Campana, MM Chester, G Chincarini, LR Cominsky, G Cusumano, M de Pasquale, EE Fenimore, P Giommi, C Gronwall, D Grupe, JE Hill, D Hinshaw, J Hjorth, D Hullinger, KC Hurley, S Klose, S Kobayashi, C Kouveliotou, HA Krimm, V Mangano, FE Marshall, K McGowan, A Moretti, RF Mushotzky, K Nakazawa, JP Norris, JA Nousek, JP Osborne, K Page, AM Parsons, S Patel, M Perri, T Poole, P Romano, PWA Roming, S Rosen, G Sato, P Schady, AP Smale, J Sollerman, R Starling, M Still, M Suzuki, G Tagliaferri, T Takahashi, M Tashiro, J Tueller, AA Wells, NE White, RAMJ Wijers
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) come in two classes: long (> 2 s), soft-spectrum bursts and short, hard events. Most progress has been made on understanding the long GRBs, which are typically observed at high redshift (z approximately 1) and found in subluminous star-forming host galaxies. They are likely to be produced in core-collapse explosions of massive stars. In contrast, no short GRB had been accurately (< 10'') and rapidly (minutes) located. Here we report the detection of the X-ray afterglow from--and the localization of--the short burst GRB 050509B. Its position on the sky is near a luminous, non-star-forming elliptical galaxy at a redshift of 0.225, which is the location one would expect if the origin of this GRB is through the merger of neutron-star or black-hole binaries. The X-ray afterglow was weak and faded below the detection limit within a few hours; no optical afterglow was detected to stringent limits, explaining the past difficulty in localizing short GRBs.