Broadband observations of the naked-eye GRB 080319B

Judith L. Racusin, David N. Burrows

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


On behalf of a large international collaboration [1], we present the unprecedented broadband observations of GRB 080319B, whose prompt optical emission peaked at a visual magnitude of 5.3, making it briefly visible with the naked eye. GRB 080319B was discovered by Swift and captured in exquisite detail by ground based wide-field telescopes, imaging the burst location from before the time of the explosion. The combination of these unique optical data with simultaneous γ-ray observations provides powerful diagnostics of the detailed physics of this explosion within seconds of its formation. We show that the prompt optical and γ-ray emissions from this event arise from different spectral components within the same physical region located at a large distance from the source, implying an extremely relativistic outflow. Our observations also provide good evidence for a bright reverse shock component. The chromatic behavior of the broadband afterglow is consistent with viewing the GRB down the very narrow inner core of a two-component jet that is expanding into a wind-like environment consistent with the massive star origin of long GRBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProbing Stellar Populations Out To The Distant Universe - Cefalu 2008 - Proceedings of the International Conference
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Jul 21 2009
EventInternational Conference on Probing Stellar Populations Out To The Distant Universe, Cefalu 2008 - Cefalu, Sicily, Italy
Duration: Sep 7 2008Sep 19 2008

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherInternational Conference on Probing Stellar Populations Out To The Distant Universe, Cefalu 2008
CityCefalu, Sicily

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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