The afterglow and environment of the short GRB111117A

R. Margutti*, E. Berger, W. Fong, B. A. Zauderer, S. B. Cenko, J. Greiner, A. M. Soderberg, A. Cucchiara, A. Rossi, S. Klose, S. Schmidl, D. Milisavljevic, N. Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

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29 Scopus citations


We present multi-wavelength observations of the afterglow of the short GRB111117A, and follow-up observations of its host galaxy. From rapid optical and radio observations, we place limits of r ≳ 25.5mag at δt 0.55 days and F ν(5.8 GHz) ≲ 18 μJy at δt ≈ 0.50 days, respectively. However, using a Chandra observation at δt 3.0days we locate the absolute position of the X-ray afterglow to an accuracy of 022 (1σ), a factor of about six times better than the Swift/XRT position. This allows us to robustly identify the host galaxy and to locate the burst at a projected offset of 125 ± 020 from the host centroid. Using optical and near-IR observations of the host galaxy we determine a photometric redshift of z = 1.3+0.3 - 0.2, one of the highest for any short gamma-ray burst (GRB), leading to a projected physical offset for the burst of 10.5 ± 1.7kpc, typical of previous short GRBs. At this redshift, the isotropic γ-ray energy is E γ, iso ≈ 3.0 × 1051 erg (rest-frame 23-2300keV) with a peak energy of E pk 850-2300keV (rest-frame). In conjunction with the isotropic X-ray energy, GRB111117A appears to follow our recently reported E x, iso-E γ, iso-E pk universal scaling. Using the X-ray data along with the optical and radio non-detections, we find that for a blastwave kinetic energy of E K, iso ≈ E γ, iso erg, the circumburst density is n 0 ≈ 3 × 10-4 - 1 cm -3 (for a range of εB = 0.001-0.1). Similarly, from the non-detection of a break in the X-ray light curve at δt ≲ 3 days, we infer a minimum opening angle for the outflow of θj ≳ 3-10° (depending on the circumburst density). We conclude that Chandra observations of short GRBs are effective at determining precise positions and robust host galaxy associations in the absence of optical and radio detections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number63
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • gamma-ray burst: individual (GRB111117A)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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