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Spectrophotometric analysis of gamma-ray burst afterglow extinction curves with X-shooter

Japelj, J and Covino, S and Gomboc, A and Vergani, SD and Goldoni, P and Selsing, J and Cano, Z and D'Elia, V and Flores, H and Fynbo, JPU and Hammer, F and Hjorth, J and Jakobsson, P and Kaper, L and Kopač, D and Krühler, T and Melandri, A and Piranomonte, S and Sánchez-Ramírez, R and Tagliaferri, G and Tanvir, NR and Postigo, ADU and Watson, D and Wijers, RAMJ (2015) Spectrophotometric analysis of gamma-ray burst afterglow extinction curves with X-shooter. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 579. ISSN 0004-6361

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Abstract

In this work we use gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglow spectra observed with the VLT/X-shooter spectrograph to measure rest-frame extinction in GRB lines-of-sight by modeling the broadband near-infrared (NIR) to X-ray afterglow spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Our sample consists of nine Swift GRBs, eight of them belonging to the long-duration and one to the short-duration class. Dust is modeled using the average extinction curves of the Milky Way and the two Magellanic Clouds. We derive the rest-frame extinction of the entire sample, which fall in the range $0 \lesssim {\it A}_{\rm V} \lesssim 1.2$. Moreover, the SMC extinction curve is the preferred extinction curve template for the majority of our sample, a result which is in agreement with those commonly observed in GRB lines-of-sights. In one analysed case (GRB 120119A), the common extinction curve templates fail to reproduce the observed extinction. To illustrate the advantage of using the high-quality X-shooter afterglow SEDs over the photometric SEDs, we repeat the modeling using the broadband SEDs with the NIR-to-UV photometric measurements instead of the spectra. The main result is that the spectroscopic data, thanks to a combination of excellent resolution and coverage of the blue part of the SED, are more successful in constraining the extinction curves and therefore the dust properties in GRB hosts with respect to photometric measurements. In all cases but one the extinction curve of one template is preferred over the others. We show that the modeled values of the extinction and the spectral slope, obtained through spectroscopic and photometric SED analysis, can differ significantly for individual events. Finally we stress that, regardless of the resolution of the optical-to-NIR data, the SED modeling gives reliable results only when the fit is performed on a SED covering a broader spectral region.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.HE; astro-ph.HE
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2015 09:56
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 08:40
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/767

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