Swift discovered the high-redshift GRB 050319 with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) and began observing with its narrow-field instruments only 225 s after the burst onset. The afterglow X-ray emission was monitored by the XRT up to 28 days after the burst. The light curve shows a decay with three different phases, each characterized by a distinct slope: an initial steep decay with a power-law index of ∼5.5, a second phase characterized by a flat decay slope of ∼0.54, and a third phase with a decay slope of ∼1.14. During the first phase the spectral energy distribution is softer than in the following two phases, and the photon index is consistent with the GRB prompt spectrum. The extrapolation of the BAT light curve to the XRT band suggests that the initial fast-decaying phase of the XRT afterglow might be the low-energy tail of the prompt emission. The second break in the afterglow light curve occurs about 27,000 s after the burst. The spectral energy distribution before and after the second break does not change, and it can be tentatively interpreted as a jet break or the end of a delayed or continuous energy injection phase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science