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IPTF14yb: The first discovery of a gamma-ray burst afterglow independent of a high-energy trigger

Cenko, SB and Urban, AL and Perley, DA and Horesh, A and Corsi, A and Fox, DB and Cao, Y and Kasliwal, MM and Lien, A and Arcavi, I and Bloom, JS and Butler, NR and Cucchiara, A and Diego, JAD and Filippenko, AV and Gal-Yam, A and Gehrels, N and Georgiev, L and González, JJ and Graham, JF and Greiner, J and Kann, DA and Klein, CR and Knust, F and Kulkarni, SR and Kutyrev, A and Laher, R and Lee, WH and Nugent, PE and Xavier Prochaska, J and Ramirez-Ruiz, E and Richer, MG and Rubin, A and Urata, Y and Varela, K and Watson, AM and Wozniak, PR (2015) IPTF14yb: The first discovery of a gamma-ray burst afterglow independent of a high-energy trigger. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 803 (2). ISSN 2041-8205

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We report here the discovery by the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) of iPTF14yb, a luminous(Mr ≈ -27.8 mag), cosmological (redshift 1.9733), rapidly fading optical transient. We demonstrate, based onprobabilistic arguments and a comparison with the broader population, that iPTF14yb is the optical afterglow ofthe long-duration gamma-ray burst GRB 140226A. This marks the first unambiguous discovery of a GRBafterglow prior to (and thus entirely independent of) an associated high-energy trigger. We estimate the rate ofiPTF14yb-like sources (i.e., cosmologically distant relativistic explosions) based on iPTF observations, inferringan all-sky value of Rrel = 610 yr?1 (68% confidence interval of 1102000 yr?1). Our derived rate is consistent(within the large uncertainty) with the all-sky rate of on-axis GRBs derived by the Swift satellite. Finally, webriefly discuss the implications of the nondetection to date of bona fide orphan afterglows (i.e., those lackingdetectable high-energy emission) on GRB beaming and the degree of baryon loading in these relativistic jets. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 09:15
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2017 09:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1088/2041-8205/803/2/L24
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5693

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