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Title

Transition from fireball to Poynting-flux-dominated outflow in the three-episode GRB 160625B

AuthorsZhang, B. -B.; Zhang, B.; Castro-Tirado, Alberto J. ; Dai, Z. G.; Tam, P. -H. T.; Wang, X. -Y.; Hu, Y. -D.; Karpov, S.; Pozanenko, A.; Zhang, F. -W.; Mazaeva, E.; Minaev, P.; Volnova, A.; Oates, S.; Gao, H.; Wu, X. -F.; Shao, L.; Tang, Q. -W.; Beskin, G.; Biryukov, A.; Bondar, S.; Ivanov, E.; Katkova, E.; Orekhova, N.; Perkov, A.; Sasyuk, V.; Mankiewicz, L.; Żarnecki, A. F.; Cwiek, A.; Opiela, R.; ZadroŻny, A.; Aptekar, R.; Frederiks, D.; Svinkin, D.; Kusakin, A.; Inasaridze, R.; Burhonov, O.; Rumyantsev, V.; Klunko, E.; Moskvitin, A.; Fatkhullin, T.; Sokolov, V. V.; Valeev, A. F.; Jeong, S.; Park, I. H.; Caballero-García, M. D.; Cunniffe, R.; Tello, J. C.; Ferrero, P.; Pandey, S. B.; Jelínek, M.; Peng, F. K.; Sánchez Ramírez, Rubén ; Castellón, A.
KeywordsHigh-energy astrophysics
Stars
Issue Date2018
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Astronomy 2: 69-75 (2018)
AbstractThe ejecta composition is an open question in gamma-ray burst (GRB) physics . Some GRBs possess a quasi-thermal spectral component in the time-resolved spectral analysis , suggesting a hot fireball origin. Others show a featureless non-thermal spectrum known as the Band function , consistent with a synchrotron radiation origin and suggesting that the jet is Poynting-flux dominated at the central engine and probably in the emission region as well . There are also bursts showing a sub-dominant thermal component and a dominant synchrotron component , suggesting a probable hybrid jet composition . Here, we report an extraordinarily bright GRB 160625B, simultaneously observed in gamma-ray and optical wavelengths, whose prompt emission consists of three isolated episodes separated by long quiescent intervals, with the durations of each sub-burst being approximately 0.8 s, 35 s and 212 s, respectively. Its high brightness (with isotropic peak luminosity L ≈ 4 × 10 erg s) allows us to conduct detailed time-resolved spectral analysis in each episode, from precursor to main burst and to extended emission. The spectral properties of the first two sub-bursts are distinctly different, allowing us to observe the transition from thermal to non-thermal radiation between well-separated emission episodes within a single GRB. Such a transition is a clear indication of the change of jet composition from a fireball to a Poynting-flux-dominated jet.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41550-017-0309-8
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/215907
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41550-017-0309-8
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/s41550-017-0309-8
issn: 2397-3366
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