Letter to the Editor
Afterglow light curve modulated by a highly magnetized millisecond pulsar
Korea Institute for Advanced Study, 207-43 Cheongryangri-dong Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-012, Korea e-mail: chlee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: H.-Y. Chang, email@example.com
Accepted: 6 November 2001
We investigate consequences of a continuously energy-injecting central engine of gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglow emission, assuming that a highly magnetized pulsar is left beaming in the core of a GRB progenitor. Beaming and continuous energy-injection are natural consequences of the pulsar origin of GRB afterglows. Whereas previous studies have considered continuous energy-injection from a new-born pulsar to interpret the deviation of afterglow light curves of GRBs from those with the simple power law behavior, a beaming effect, which is one of the most important aspects of pulsar emissions, is ignored in earlier investigations. We explicitly include the beaming effect and consider a change of the beaming with time due to a dynamical evolution of a new-born pulsar. We show that the magnitude of the afterglow from this fireball indeed first decreases with time, subsequently rises, and declines again. One of the most peculiar optical afterglows light curve of GRB 970508 can be accounted for by continuous energy injection with beaming due to a highly magnetized new-born pulsar. We discuss implications on such observational evidence for a pulsar.
Key words: gamma rays: bursts / pulsar: general / stars: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2002