Volume 439, Number 2, August IV 2005
|Page(s)||L15 - L18|
|Published online||29 July 2005|
Letter to the Editor
GRB 050509b: the elusive optical/nIR/mm afterglow of a short-duration GRB
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), PO Box 3.004, 18.080 Granada, Spain e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Special Astrophysical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences, Karanchai-Cherkessia, Nizniy-Arkhyz, 357147, Russia
3 Institute de Radioastronomie Milimetrique (IRAM), 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
4 Nikolaev State University, Nikolskaya 24, 54.030 Nikolaev, Ukraine
5 Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
6 Fakulta electrotechnická, Czech Technical University, 121 35 Praha, Czech Republic
7 Dept. de Ing. Electrónica, Sistemas Informáticos y Automática, Univ. de Huelva, 21.819 Palos de la Frontera (Huelva), Spain
8 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Observatoire, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
9 Departamento de Física (EPS), Univ. de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Accepted: 26 June 2005
We present multiwavelength (optical/near infrared/millimetre) observations of a short duration gamma-ray burst detected by Swift (GRB 050509b) collected between 0 seconds and ~18.8 days after the event. No optical, near infrared or millimetre emission has been detected in spite of the well localised X-ray afterglow, confirming the elusiveness of the short duration events. We also discuss the possibility of the burst being located in a cluster of galaxies at or beyond. In the former case, the spectral energy distribution of the neighbouring, potential host galaxy, favours a system harbouring an evolved dominant stellar population (age ~360 Myr), unlike most long duration GRB host galaxies observed so far, i.e. thus giving support to a compact binary merger origin. Any underlying supernova that could be associated with this particular event should have been at least 3 magnitudes fainter than the type Ib/c SN 1998bw and 2.3 mag fainter than a typical type Ia SN.
Key words: gamma rays: bursts / techniques: photometric / cosmology: observations
© ESO, 2005
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