The association of GRB 060218 with a supernova and the evolution of the shock wave

S. Campana, V. Mangano, A. J. Blustin, P. Brown, D. N. Burrows, G. Chincarini, J. R. Cummings, G. Cusumano, M. D. Della Valle, D. Malesani, P. Mészáros, J. A. Nousek, M. Page, T. Sakamoto, E. Waxman, B. Zhang, Z. G. Dai, N. Gehrels, S. Immler, F. E. MarshallK. O. Mason, A. Moretti, P. T. O'Brien, J. P. Osborne, K. L. Page, P. Romano, P. W.A. Roming, G. Tagliaferri, L. R. Cominsky, P. Giommi, O. Godet, J. A. Kennea, H. Krimm, L. Angelini, S. D. Barthelmy, P. T. Boyd, D. M. Palmer, A. A. Wells, N. E. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

703 Scopus citations


Although the link between long γ-ray bursts (GRBs) and supernovae has been established, hitherto there have been no observations of the beginning of a supernova explosion and its intimate link to a GRB. In particular, we do not know how the jet that defines a γ-ray burst emerges from the star's surface, nor how a GRB progenitor explodes. Here we report observations of the relatively nearby GRB 060218 (ref. 5) and its connection to supernova SN 2006aj (ref. 6). In addition to the classical non-thermal emission, GRB 060218 shows a thermal component in its X-ray spectrum, which cools and shifts into the optical/ultraviolet band as time passes. We interpret these features as arising from the break-out of a shock wave driven by a mildly relativistic shell into the dense wind surrounding the progenitor. We have caught a supernova in the act of exploding, directly observing the shock break-out, which indicates that the GRB progenitor was a Wolf-Rayet star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1010
Number of pages3
Issue number7106
StatePublished - Aug 31 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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