Searching for differences in Swift’s intermediate GRBs
A. de Ugarte Postigo1,2, I. Horváth3, P. Veres3,4, Z. Bagoly4, D. A. Kann5, C. C. Thöne1, L. G. Balazs6, P. D’Avanzo1, M. A. Aloy7, S. Foley8,9, S. Campana1, J. Mao1,10,11, P. Jakobsson12, S. Covino1, J. P. U. Fynbo13, J. Gorosabel14, A. J. Castro-Tirado14, L. Amati15 and M. Nardini9
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via E. Bianchi 46, 23807
Merate, LC, Italy
2 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
3 Dept. of Physics, Bolyai Military University, POB 15, 1581 Budapest, Hungary
4 Dept. of Physics of Complex Systems, Eötvös University, Pázmány P. s. 1/A, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
5 Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
6 Konkoly Observatory, 1525 Budapest, POB 67, Hungary
7 Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
8 UCD School of Physics, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
9 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 85748 Garching, Germany
10 Yunnan Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650011, PR China
11 Key Laboratory for the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan 650011, PR China
12 Centre for Astrophysics and Cosmology, Science Institute, University of Iceland, Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland
13 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
14 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), 18008 Granada, Spain
15 INAF – IASF Bologna, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 6 July 2010
Context. Gamma-ray bursts are usually classified in terms their high-energy emission into either short-duration or long-duration bursts, which presumably reflect two different types of progenitors. However, it has been shown on statistical grounds that a third, intermediate population is needed in this classification scheme, although an extensive study of the properties of this class has so far not been performed. The large amount of follow-up studies generated during the Swift era allows us to have a sufficient sample to attempt a study of this third population through the properties of their prompt emission and their afterglows.
Aims. To understand the differences of the intermediate population, we study a sample of GRBs observed by Swift during its first four years of operation. The sample contains only bursts with measured redshifts since these data help us to derive intrinsic properties.
Methods. We search for differences in the properties of the three groups of bursts, which we quantify using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test whenever possible.
Results. Intermediate bursts are found to be less energetic and have dimmer afterglows than long GRBs, especially when considering the X-ray light curves, which are on average one order of magnitude fainter than long bursts. There is a less significant trend in the redshift distribution that places intermediate bursts closer than long bursts. Except for this, intermediate bursts show similar properties to long bursts. In particular, they follow the Epeak versus Eiso correlation and have, on average, positive spectral lags with a distribution similar to that of long bursts. As for long GRBs, they normally have an associated supernova, although some intermediate bursts have been found to contain no supernova component.
Conclusions. This study shows that intermediate bursts differ from short bursts, but exhibit no significant differences from long bursts apart from their lower brightness. We suggest that the physical difference between intermediate and long bursts could be explained by being produced by similar progenitors, of the former being the ejecta thin shells and the latter thick shells.
Key words: gamma-rays burst: general
© ESO, 2010