Slow and fast components in the X-ray light curves of gamma-ray bursts
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università La Sapienza, Piazzale A. Moro 2, 00185 Roma, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF, IASF – Sezione di Roma, via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 00133 Roma, Italy
3 Stazione Astronomica di Vallinfreda, via del Tramonto, 00020 Vallinfreda (RM), Italy
Accepted: 12 October 2005
Gamma-ray burst light curves show quite different patterns: from very simple to extremely complex. We present a temporal and spectral study of the light curves in three energy bands (2-5, 5-10, 10-26 keV) of ten GRBs detected by the Wide Field Cameras on board BeppoSAX. For some events the time profiles are characterized by peaks superposed on a slowly evolving pedestal, which in some cases becomes less apparent at higher energies. We describe this behaviour with the presence of two components (slow and fast) having different variability time scales. We modelled the time evolution of slow components by means of an analytical function able to describe asymmetric rising and decaying profiles. The residual light curves, after the subtraction of the slow components, generally show structures more similar to the original curves in the highest energy band. Spectral study of these two components was performed evaluating their hardness ratios, used also to derive photon indices. Slow components are found generally softer than the fast ones suggesting that their origin is likely different. Being typical photon indices lower than those of the afterglows there is no evidence that the emission processes are similar. Another interesting possibility is that slow components can be related to the presence of a hot photosphere having a thermal spectrum with kT around a few keV superposed to a rapid variable non-thermal emission of the fast component.
Key words: X rays: bursts / gamma rays: bursts
© ESO, 2006