The Late-time X-ray Behavior of Short Gamma-ray Bursts: Implications for Energetics and Rates

Project: Research project

Project Details


Short-duration gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) are relativistic explosions with a prompt emission duration of < 2 sec [12] and an isotropic-equivalent x-ray energy of E;iso 1050-1052 erg, making them among the most luminous transients in the universe. The progenitors for SGRBs are the mergers of two compact objects, involving two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole (NS-NS/NS-BH; [6, 4, 22]); this was solidi�fied by the detection of the NS-NS merger GW170817 with a weak SGRB [3, 2]. Such systems are powerful sources of gravitational wave (GW) emission detectable with advanced LIGO/Virgo. As GW detectors approach design sensitivity and several x-ray satellites remain in light, this is a golden era to make signi�ficant progress in merger studies from SGRBs Here, we propose to utilize the sensitivity of Chandra to measure a jet break in the afterglow of a SGRB. The angular resolution will also ensure no contamination to the afterglow from a host galaxy AGN or proximal unrelated source, which has proved to be an issue in past observations with Swift/XRT or XMM-Newton. We thus request a pair of TOO observations of a SGRB with a bright X-ray afterglow to probe a range of j > 5-20. (z 0:1-2), concurrent to e�orts on local events within the reach of GW observatories (z < 0:05).
Effective start/end date7/30/217/29/22


  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (GO1-22043X//NAS8-03060)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (GO1-22043X//NAS8-03060)


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