A Luminous Precursor in the Extremely Bright GRB 230307A

S. Dichiara, D. Tsang, E. Troja, D. Neill, J. P. Norris, Y. H. Yang

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GRB 230307A is an extremely bright long-duration GRB with an observed gamma-ray fluence of ≳3 × 10−3 erg cm−2 (10-1000 keV), second only to GRB 221009A. Despite its long duration, it is possibly associated with a kilonova, thus resembling the case of GRB 211211A. In analogy with GRB 211211A, we distinguish three phases in the prompt gamma-ray emission of GRB 230307A: an initial short duration, spectrally soft emission; a main long duration, spectrally hard burst; and a temporally extended and spectrally soft tail. We interpret the initial soft pulse as a bright precursor to the main burst and compare its properties with models of precursors from compact binary mergers. We find that to explain the brightness of GRB 230307A, a magnetar-like (≳1015 G) magnetic field should be retained by the progenitor neutron star. Alternatively, in the postmerger scenario, the luminous precursor could point to the formation of a rapidly rotating massive neutron star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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