GRB 060313: A new paradigm for short-hard bursts?

Peter W.A. Roming, Daniel Vanden Berk, Valentin Pal'shin, Claudio Pagani, Jay Norris, Pawan Kumar, Hans Krimm, Stephen T. Holland, Caryl Gronwall, Alex J. Blustin, Bing Zhang, Patricia Schady, Takanori Sakamoto, Julian P. Osborne, John A. Nousek, Frank E. Marshall, Peter Mészáros, Sergey V. Golenetskii, Neil Gehrels, Dmitry D. FrederiksSergio Campana, David N. Burrows, Patricia T. Boyd, Scott Barthelmy, R. L. Aptekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


We report the simultaneous observations of the prompt emission in the gamma-ray and hard X-ray bands by the Swift BAT and the Konus-Wind instruments of the short-hard burst, GRB 060313. The observations reveal multiple peaks in both the gamma-ray and hard X-ray bands suggesting a highly variable outflow from the central explosion. We also describe the early-time observations of the X-ray and UV/optical afterglows by the Swift XRT and UVOT instruments. The combination of the X-ray and UV/optical observations provides the most comprehensive light curves to date of a short-hard burst at such an early epoch. The afterglows exhibit complex structure with different decay indices and flaring. This behavior can be explained by the combination of a structured jet, radiative loss of energy, and decreasing microphysics parameters occurring in a circumburst medium with densities varying by a factor of approximately two on a length scale of 1017 cm. These density variations are normally associated with the environment of a massive star and inhomogeneities in its windy medium. However, the mean density of the observed medium (n ∼ 10 -4 cm3) is much less than that expected for a massive star. Although the collapse of a massive star as the origin of GRB 060313 is unlikely, the merger of a compact binary also poses problems for explaining the behavior of this burst. Two possible suggestions for explaining this scenario are that some short bursts may arise from a mechanism that does not invoke the conventional compact binary model, or that soft late-time central engine activity is producing UV/optical but no X-ray flaring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-993
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Nov 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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