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Proceedings Paper

Afterglows of gamma-ray bursts
Author(s): Shrinivas R. Kulkarni; Edo Berger; Joshua Simon Bloom; Frederic H. Chaffee; Alan H. Diercks; S. George Djorgovski; Dale A. Frail; Titus J. Galama; Robert Goodrich; Fiona A. Harrison; Re'em Sari; S. A. Yost
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Paper Abstract

Gamma-ray burst astronomy has undergone a revolution in the last three years, spurred by the discover of fading long- wavelength counterparts. We now know that at least the long duration GRBs lie at cosmological distances with estimated electromagnetic energy release of 1051-1053 erg, making these the brightest explosions in the Universe. In this article we review the current observational state of the long-lived 'afterglow' emission that accompanies GRBs at X-ray, optical, and radio afterglow wavelengths. We then discuss the insights these observations have given to the progenitor population, the energetics of the GRB events, and the physics of the afterglow emission. We focus particular attention on the evidence linking GRBs to the explosion of massive stars. Throughout, we identify remaining puzzles and uncertainties, and emphasize promising observations tools for addressing them. The imminent launch of HETE-2, the increasingly sophisticated and coordinated ground-based and space-based observations, and the increasing availability of 10-m class optical telescopes have primed this field for fantastic growth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2000
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4005, Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes, (29 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390135
Show Author Affiliations
Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Edo Berger, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Joshua Simon Bloom, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Frederic H. Chaffee, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Alan H. Diercks, California Institute of Technology (United States)
S. George Djorgovski, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Dale A. Frail, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Titus J. Galama, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Robert Goodrich, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Fiona A. Harrison, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Re'em Sari, California Institute of Technology (United States)
S. A. Yost, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4005:
Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes
Jacqueline Bergeron, Editor(s)

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