Broadband observations of the naked-eye GRB 080319B

Judith L. Racusin, David Nelson Burrows

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

1 Scopus citations


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 withviewing 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 publicationGamma-Ray Burst - 6th Huntsville Symposium
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 27 2009
Event6th Huntsville Symposium on Gamma-Ray Bursts - Huntsville, AL, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2008Oct 23 2008


Other6th Huntsville Symposium on Gamma-Ray Bursts
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHuntsville, AL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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