The prompt-afterglow connection in gamma-ray bursts: A comprehensive statistical analysis of Swift X-ray light curves

R. Margutti*, E. Zaninoni, M. G. Bernardini, G. Chincarini, F. Pasotti, C. Guidorzi, L. Angelini, D. N. Burrows, M. Capalbi, P. A. Evans, N. Gehrels, J. Kennea, V. Mangano, A. Moretti, J. Nousek, J. P. Osborne, K. L. Page, M. Perri, J. Racusin, P. RomanoB. Sbarufatti, S. Stafford, M. Stamatikos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a comprehensive statistical analysis of Swift X-ray light curves of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) collecting data from more than 650 GRBs discovered by Swift and other facilities. The unprecedented sample size allows us to constrain the rest-frame X-ray properties of GRBs from a statistical perspective, with particular reference to intrinsic time-scales and the energetics of the different light-curve phases in a common rest-frame 0.3-30 keV energy band. Temporal variability episodes are also studied and their properties constrained. Two fundamental questions drive this effort: (i) Does the X-ray emission retain any kind of 'memory' of the prompt γ -ray phase? (ii) Where is the dividing line between long and short GRB X-ray properties? We show that short GRBs decay faster, are less luminous and less energetic than long GRBs in the X-rays, but are interestingly characterized by similar intrinsic absorption. We furthermore reveal the existence of a number of statistically significant relations that link the X-ray to prompt γ -ray parameters in long GRBs; short GRBs are outliers of the majority of these two-parameter relations. However and more importantly, we report on the existence of a universal three-parameter scaling that links the X-ray and the γ -ray energy to the prompt spectral peak energy of both long and short GRBs: EX,iso α E1.00±0.06 /E0.60±0.10 pk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-742
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume428
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • General
  • Non-thermal-gamma-ray burst
  • Radiation mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Margutti, R., Zaninoni, E., Bernardini, M. G., Chincarini, G., Pasotti, F., Guidorzi, C., Angelini, L., Burrows, D. N., Capalbi, M., Evans, P. A., Gehrels, N., Kennea, J., Mangano, V., Moretti, A., Nousek, J., Osborne, J. P., Page, K. L., Perri, M., Racusin, J., ... Stamatikos, M. (2013). The prompt-afterglow connection in gamma-ray bursts: A comprehensive statistical analysis of Swift X-ray light curves. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 428(1), 729-742. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sts066