Volume 420, Number 3, June IV 2004
|Page(s)||899 - 903|
|Published online||04 June 2004|
Prospects for multiwavelength polarization observations of GRB afterglows and the case GRB 030329
Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
2 Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Sezione di Bologna, CNR, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestische Physik, 85741 Garching, Germany
4 Clemson University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
5 Institut für Astronomie, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Corresponding author: S. Klose, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 March 2004
We explore the prospects for simultaneous, broad-band, multiwavelength polarimetric observations of GRB afterglows. We focus on the role of cosmic dust in GRB host galaxies on the observed percentage polarization of afterglows in the optical/near-infrared bands as a function of redshift. Our driving point is the afterglow of GRB 030329, for which we obtained polarimetric data in the R band and K band simultaneously ~1.5 days after the burst. We argue that polarimetric observations can be very sensitive to dust in a GRB host, because dust can render the polarization of an afterglow wavelength-dependent. We discuss the consequences for the interpretation of observational data and emphasize the important role of very early polarimetric follow-up observations in all bands, when afterglows are still bright, to study the physical properties of dust and magnetic fields in high-z galaxies.
Key words: gamma rays: bursts / polarization; dust / extinction
© ESO, 2004
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