We report our observation of the short gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB 170817A, associated to the binary neutron star merger gravitational wave (GW) event GW 170817, performed in the X-ray band with XMM-Newton 135 d after the event (on 29 December, 2017). We find evidence for a flattening of the X-ray light curve with respect to the previously observed brightening. This is also supported by a nearly simultaneous optical Hubble Space Telescope observation and successive X-ray Chandra and low-frequency radio observations recently reported in the literature. Since the optical-to-X-ray spectral slope did not change with respect to previous observations, we exclude that the change in the temporal evolution of the light curve is due to the passage of the cooling frequency: its origin must be geometric or dynamical. We interpret all the existing afterglow data with two models: i) a structured jet and ii) a jet-less isotropic fireball with some stratification in its radial velocity structure. Both models fit the data and predict that the radio flux must decrease simultaneously with the optical and X-ray emission, making it difficult to distinguish between them at the present stage. Polarimetric measurements and the rate of short GRB-GWassociations in future LIGO/Virgo runs will be key to disentangle these two geometrically different scenarios.

The evolution of the X-ray afterglow emission of GW 170817/GRB 170817A in XMM-Newton observations

Branchesi M;
2018

Abstract

We report our observation of the short gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB 170817A, associated to the binary neutron star merger gravitational wave (GW) event GW 170817, performed in the X-ray band with XMM-Newton 135 d after the event (on 29 December, 2017). We find evidence for a flattening of the X-ray light curve with respect to the previously observed brightening. This is also supported by a nearly simultaneous optical Hubble Space Telescope observation and successive X-ray Chandra and low-frequency radio observations recently reported in the literature. Since the optical-to-X-ray spectral slope did not change with respect to previous observations, we exclude that the change in the temporal evolution of the light curve is due to the passage of the cooling frequency: its origin must be geometric or dynamical. We interpret all the existing afterglow data with two models: i) a structured jet and ii) a jet-less isotropic fireball with some stratification in its radial velocity structure. Both models fit the data and predict that the radio flux must decrease simultaneously with the optical and X-ray emission, making it difficult to distinguish between them at the present stage. Polarimetric measurements and the rate of short GRB-GWassociations in future LIGO/Virgo runs will be key to disentangle these two geometrically different scenarios.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/7248
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