Wen-fai Fong, Raffaella Margutti, R. Chornock, E. Berger, B. J. Shappee, A. J. Levan, N. R. Tanvir, N. Smith, P. A. Milne, T. Laskar, D. B. Fox, R. Lunnan, P. K. Blanchard, J. Hjorth, K. Wiersema, A. J. Van Der Horst, D. Zaritsky

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37 Scopus citations


We present the discovery of the X-ray and optical afterglows of the short-duration GRB 150101B, pinpointing the event to an early-type host galaxy at z = 0.1343 ±0.0030. This makes GRB 150101B the most nearby short gamma-ray burst (GRB) with an early-type host galaxy discovered to date. Fitting the spectral energy distribution of the host galaxy results in an inferred stellar mass of ≈7 × 1010 M, stellar population age of ≈2-2.5 Gyr, and star formation rate of ≲0.4 M yr-1. The host of GRB 150101B is one of the largest and most luminous short GRB host galaxies, with a B-band luminosity of ≈4.3L and half-light radius of ≈8 kpc. GRB 150101B is located at a projected distance of 7.35 ±0.07 kpc from its host center and lies on a faint region of its host rest-frame optical light. Its location, combined with the lack of associated supernova, is consistent with an NS-NS/NS-BH merger progenitor. From modeling the evolution of the broadband afterglow, we calculate isotropic-equivalent gamma-ray and kinetic energies of ≈1.3 × 1049 erg and ≈ (6-14) × 1051 erg, respectively, a circumburst density of ≈ (0.8-4) × 10-5 cm-3, and a jet opening angle of ≳9°. Using observations extending to ≈30 days, we place upper limits of ≲(2-4) ×1041 erg s-1 on associated kilonova emission. We compare searches following previous short GRBs to existing kilonova models and demonstrate the difficulty of performing effective kilonova searches from cosmological short GRBs using current ground-based facilities. We show that at the Advanced LIGO/VIRGO horizon distance of 200 Mpc, searches reaching depths of ≈23-24 AB mag are necessary to probe a meaningful range of kilonova models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2016


  • gamma-ray burst: individual (150101B)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Fong, W., Margutti, R., Chornock, R., Berger, E., Shappee, B. J., Levan, A. J., Tanvir, N. R., Smith, N., Milne, P. A., Laskar, T., Fox, D. B., Lunnan, R., Blanchard, P. K., Hjorth, J., Wiersema, K., Van Der Horst, A. J., & Zaritsky, D. (2016). THE AFTERGLOW and EARLY-TYPE HOST GALAXY of the SHORT GRB 150101B at z = 0.1343. Astrophysical Journal, 833(2), [151].