A novel explosive process is required for the γ-ray burst GRB 060614

A. Gal-Yam*, D. B. Fox, P. A. Price, E. O. Ofek, M. R. Davis, D. C. Leonard, A. M. Soderberg, B. P. Schmidt, K. M. Lewis, B. A. Peterson, S. R. Kulkarni, E. Berger, S. B. Cenko, R. Sari, K. Sharon, D. Frail, D. S. Moon, P. J. Brown, A. Cucchiara, F. HarrisonT. Piran, S. E. Persson, P. J. McCarthy, B. E. Penprase, R. A. Chevalier, A. I. MacFadyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

346 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past decade, our physical understanding of γ-ray bursts (GRBs) has progressed rapidly, thanks to the discovery and observation of their long-lived afterglow emission. Long-duration (≳2 s) GRBs are associated with the explosive deaths of massive stars ('collapsars', ref. 1), which produce accompanying supernovae; the short-duration (≲2 s) GRBs have a different origin, which has been argued to be the merger of two compact objects. Here we report optical observations of GRB 060614 (duration ∼100 s, ref. 10) that rule out the presence of an associated supernova. This would seem to require a new explosive process: either a massive collapsar that powers a GRB without any associated supernova, or a new type of 'engine', as long-lived as the collapsar but without a massive star. We also show that the properties of the host galaxy (redshift z = 0.125) distinguish it from other long-duration GRB hosts and suggest that an entirely new type of GRB progenitor may be required.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1053-1055
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume444
Issue number7122
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements A.G. and E.B. acknowledge support by NASA through Hubble Fellowships. S.R.K. is supported by NSF and NASA. The HST campaign combined resources from our approved programmes (principal investigators S.R.K. and D.B.F.).

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