Volume 546, October 2012
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||15 October 2012|
GRB 091029: at the limit of the fireball scenario⋆
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik,
2 Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Horská 3a/22, 12800 Prague, Czech Republic
3 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain
4 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
5 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK
6 Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, 20126 Milano, Italy
7 Universe Cluster, Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstraße 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
8 Space Science and Applications, MS D466, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
9 Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
10 Vintage Lane Observatory, Blenheim, New Zealand
11 Auckland Observatory, PO Box 12-180, Auckland, New Zealand
12 Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
13 AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
14 Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Received: 11 May 2012
Accepted: 13 September 2012
Aims. Using high-quality, broad-band afterglow data for GRB 091029, we test the validity of the forward-shock model for gamma-ray burst afterglows.
Methods. We used multi-wavelength (NIR to X-ray) follow-up observations obtained with the GROND, BOOTES-3/YA and Stardome optical ground-based telescopes, and the UVOT and the XRT onboard the Swift satellite. The resulting data of excellent accuracy allow us to construct a multi-wavelength light curve with relative photometric errors as low as 1%, as well as the well-sampled spectral energy distribution covering 5 decades in energy.
Results. The optical/NIR and the X-ray light curves of the afterglow of GRB 091029 are almost totally decoupled. The X-ray light curve shows a shallow rise with a peak at ~7 ks and a decay slope of α ~ 1.2 afterwards, while the optical/NIR light curve shows a much steeper early rise with a peak around 400 s, followed by a shallow decay with temporal index of α ~ 0.6, a bump and a steepening of the decay afterwards. The optical/NIR spectral index decreases gradually by over 0.3 before this bump, and then slowly increases again, while the X-ray spectral index remains constant throughout the observations.
Conclusions. To explain the decoupled light curves in the X-ray and optical/NIR domains, a two-component outflow is proposed. Several models are tested, including continuous energy injection, components with different electron energy indices and components in two different stages of spectral evolution. Only the last model can explain both the decoupled light curves with asynchronous peaks and the peculiar SED evolution. However, this model has so many unknown free parameters that we are unable to reliably confirm or disprove its validity, making the afterglow of GRB 091029 difficult to explain in the framework of the simplest fireball model. This conclusion provides evidence that a scenario beyond the simplistic assumptions is needed to be able to model the growing number of well-sampled afterglow light curves.
Key words: gamma rays: ISM / gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 091029 / ISM: jets and outflows / X-rays: individuals: GRB 091029
Tables 5–9 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012
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