Afterglows of gamma-ray bursts

S. R. Kulkarni*, E. Berger, J. S. Bloom, F. Chaffee, A. Diercks, S. G. Djorgovski, D. A. Frail, T. J. Galama, R. W. Goodrich, F. A. Harrison, R. Sari, S. A. Yost

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Gamma-ray burst astronomy has undergone a revolution in the last three years, spurred by the discovery 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 observational 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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
EventDiscoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes - Munich, Ger
Duration: 30 Mar 200031 Mar 2000


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