The swift prompt sample

P. T. O'Brien, R. Willingale, J. Osborne, M. R. Goad, K. L. Page, A. P. Beardmore, O. Godet, D. N. Burrows, N. Gehrels

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


We have analysed BAT and XRT data for 40 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) observed using the Swift satellite. The earliest X-ray light curve can be well described by an exponential which relaxes into a power law, often with flares superimposed. The transition time between the exponential and the power law gives a physically defined timescale for the burst duration. In most GRBs the power law decay changes to a shallower decay within the first hour. The resultant "late emission hump" can last for several tens of ks. In other bursts the late hump is weak or absent. The observed variety in light curve shape can be explained as a combination of three components: prompt emission from the central engine; afterglow; and the late hump, which may also be due to the central engine. GRBs with stronger afterglow components are more likely to have brighter early optical emission. The late emission hump can have a total fluence equivalent to that of the prompt phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA
Subtitle of host publicationSixteenth Maryland Astrophysics Conference
Number of pages6
StatePublished - May 19 2006
EventGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA: 16th Maryland Astrophysics Conference - Washington, D.C., United States
Duration: Nov 29 2005Dec 2 2005

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA: 16th Maryland Astrophysics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, D.C.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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