Afterglow Polarization from Off-axis Gamma-Ray Burst Jets

A. C.Caligula do E. S. Pedreira, N. Fraija, A. Galvan-Gamez, B. Betancourt Kamenetskaia, P. Veres, M. G. Dainotti, S. Dichiara, R. L. Becerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As we further our studies on gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), via both theoretical models and observational tools, more and more options begin to open for exploration of its physical properties. As GRBs are transient events primarily dominated by synchrotron radiation, it is expected that the synchrotron photons emitted by GRBs should present some degree of polarization throughout the evolution of the burst. Whereas observing this polarization can still be challenging due to the constraints on observational tools, especially for short GRBs, it is paramount that the groundwork is laid for the day we have abundant data. In this work, we present a polarization model linked with an off-axis spreading top-hat jet synchrotron scenario in a stratified environment with a density profile n(r) ∝ r −k . We present this model's expected temporal polarization evolution for a realistic set of afterglow parameters constrained within the values observed in the GRB literature for four degrees of stratification k = 0, 1, 1.5, and 2 and two magnetic field configurations with high extreme anisotropy. We apply this model and predict polarization from a set of GRBs exhibiting off-axis afterglow emission. In particular, for GRB 170817A, we use the available polarimetric upper limits to rule out the possibility of an extremely anisotropic configuration for the magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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