Collapsar jets, bubbles, and Fe lines

P. Mészáros, M. J. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


In the collapsar scenario, gamma-ray bursts are caused by relativistic jets expelled along the rotation axis of a collapsing stellar core. We discuss how the structure and time dependence of such jets depend on the stellar envelope and central engine properties, assuming a steady jet injection. It takes a few seconds for the jet to bore its way through the stellar core; most of the energy output during that period goes into a cocoon of relativistic plasma surrounding the jet. This material subsequently forms a bubble of magnetized plasma that takes several hours to expand, subrelativistically, through the envelope of a high-mass supergiant. Jet breakthrough and a conventional burst would be expected not only in He stars but possibly also in blue supergiants. Shock waves and magnetic dissipation in the escaping bubble can contribute a nonthermal UV/X-ray afterglow, and also excite Fe line emission from thermal gas, in addition to the standard jet deceleration power-law afterglow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L37-L40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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