An energetic γ-ray burst (GRB), GRB 211211A, was observed on 11 December 20211,2. Despite its long duration, typically associated with bursts produced by the collapse of massive stars, the observation of an optical-infrared kilonova points to a compact binary merger origin3. Here we report observations of a significant (more than five sigma) transient-like emission in the high-energy γ-rays of GRB 211211A (more than 0.1 gigaelectronvolts) starting 103 seconds after the burst. After an initial phase with a roughly constant flux (about 5 × 10-10 erg per second per square centimetre) lasting about 2 × 104 seconds, the flux started decreasing and soon went undetected. Our detailed modelling of public and dedicated multi-wavelength observations demonstrates that gigaelectronvolt emission from GRB 211211A is in excess with respect to the flux predicted by the state-of-the-art afterglow model at such late time. We explore the possibility that the gigaelectronvolt excess is inverse Compton emission owing to the interaction of a late-time, low-power jet with an external source of photons, and find that kilonova emission can provide the seed photons. Our results open perspectives for observing binary neutron star mergers.

Gigaelectronvolt emission from a compact binary merger

Banerjee, Biswajit;Oganesyan, Gor;Branchesi, Marica;
2022-01-01

Abstract

An energetic γ-ray burst (GRB), GRB 211211A, was observed on 11 December 20211,2. Despite its long duration, typically associated with bursts produced by the collapse of massive stars, the observation of an optical-infrared kilonova points to a compact binary merger origin3. Here we report observations of a significant (more than five sigma) transient-like emission in the high-energy γ-rays of GRB 211211A (more than 0.1 gigaelectronvolts) starting 103 seconds after the burst. After an initial phase with a roughly constant flux (about 5 × 10-10 erg per second per square centimetre) lasting about 2 × 104 seconds, the flux started decreasing and soon went undetected. Our detailed modelling of public and dedicated multi-wavelength observations demonstrates that gigaelectronvolt emission from GRB 211211A is in excess with respect to the flux predicted by the state-of-the-art afterglow model at such late time. We explore the possibility that the gigaelectronvolt excess is inverse Compton emission owing to the interaction of a late-time, low-power jet with an external source of photons, and find that kilonova emission can provide the seed photons. Our results open perspectives for observing binary neutron star mergers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/29125
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