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A complete sample of bright Swift short Gamma-Ray Bursts  [PDF]
P. D'Avanzo,R. Salvaterra,M. G. Bernardini,L. Nava,S. Campana,S. Covino,V. D'Elia,G. Ghirlanda,G. Ghisellini,A. Melandri,B. Sbarufatti,S. D. Vergani,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu994
Abstract: We present a carefully selected sample of short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) observed by the Swift satellite up to June 2013. Inspired by the criteria we used to build a similar sample of bright long GRBs (the BAT6 sample), we selected SGRBs with favorable observing conditions for the redshift determination on ground, ending up with a sample of 36 events, almost half of which with a redshift measure. The redshift completeness increases up to about 70% (with an average redshift value of z = 0.85) by restricting to those events that are bright in the 15-150 keV Swift Burst Alert Telescope energy band. Such flux-limited sample minimizes any redshift-related selection effects, and can provide a robust base for the study of the energetics, redshift distribution and environment of the Swift bright population of SGRBs. For all the events of the sample we derived the prompt and afterglow emission in both the observer and (when possible) rest frame and tested the consistency with the correlations valid for long GRBs. The redshift and intrinsic X-ray absorbing column density distributions we obtain are consistent with the scenario of SGRBs originated by the coalescence of compact objects in primordial binaries, with a possible minor contribution (~10%-25%) of binaries formed by dynamical capture (or experiencing large natal kicks). This sample is expected to significantly increase with further years of Swift activity.
The Dark Bursts population in a complete sample of bright Swift Long Gamma-Ray Bursts  [PDF]
A. Melandri,B. Sbarufatti,P. D'Avanzo,R. Salvaterra,S. Campana,S. Covino,S. D. Vergani,L. Nava,G. Ghisellini,G. Ghirlanda,D. Fugazza,V. Mangano,M. Capalbi,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20398.x
Abstract: We study the properties of the population of optically dark events present in a carefully selected complete sample of bright Swift long gamma-ray bursts. The high level of completeness in redshift of our sample (52 objects out of 58) allow us to establish the existence of a genuine dark population and we are able to estimate the maximum fraction of dark burst events (~30%) expected for the whole class of long gamma-ray burst. The redshift distribution of this population of dark bursts is similar to the one of the whole sample. Interestingly, the rest-frame X-ray luminosity (and the de-absorbed X-ray flux) of the sub-class of dark bursts is slightly higher than the average luminosity of the non-dark events. At the same time the prompt properties do not differ and the optical flux of dark events is at the lower tail of the optical flux distribution, corrected for Galactic absorption. All these properties suggest that dark bursts events generate in much denser environments with respect to normal bright events. We can therefore exclude the high-z and the low-density scenarios and conclude that the major cause of the origin of optically dark events is the dust extinction.
A complete sample of bright Swift Long Gamma-Ray Bursts: Sample presentation, Luminosity Function and evolution  [PDF]
R. Salvaterra,S. Campana,S. D. Vergani,S. Covino,P. D'Avanzo,D. Fugazza,G. Ghirlanda,G. Ghisellini,A. Melandri,L. Nava,B. Sbarufatti,H. Flores,S. Piranomonte,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/749/1/68
Abstract: We present a carefully selected sub-sample of Swift Long Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), that is complete in redshift. The sample is constructed by considering only bursts with favorable observing conditions for ground-based follow-up searches, that are bright in the 15-150 keV Swift/BAT band, i.e. with 1-s peak photon fluxes in excess to 2.6 ph s^-1 cm^-2. The sample is composed by 58 bursts, 52 of them with redshift for a completeness level of 90%, while another two have a redshift constraint, reaching a completeness level of 95%. For only three bursts we have no constraint on the redshift. The high level of redshift completeness allows us for the first time to constrain the GRB luminosity function and its evolution with cosmic times in a unbiased way. We find that strong evolution in luminosity (d_l=2.3\pm 0.6) or in density (d_d=1.7\pm 0.5) is required in order to account for the observations. The derived redshift distribution in the two scenarios are consistent with each other, in spite of their different intrinsic redshift distribution. This calls for other indicators to distinguish among different evolution models. Complete samples are at the base of any population studies. In future works we will use this unique sample of Swift bright GRBs to study the properties of the population of long GRBs.
The X-ray absorbing column density of a complete sample of bright Swift Gamma-Ray Bursts  [PDF]
S. Campana,R. Salvaterra,A. Melandri,S. D. Vergani,S. Covino,P. D'Avanzo,D. Fugazza,G. Ghisellini,B. Sbarufatti,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20428.x
Abstract: A complete sample of bright Swift Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) has been recently selected by Salvaterra et al. (2011). The sample has a high level of completeness in redshift (91%). We derive here the intrinsic absorbing X-ray column densities of these GRBs making use of the Swift X-ray Telescope data. This distribution has a mean value of log(NH/cm-2)=21.7+-0.5. This value is consistent with the distribution of the column densities derived from the total sample of GRBs with redshift. We find a mild increase of the intrinsic column density with redshift. This can be interpreted as due to the contribution of intervening systems along the line of sight. Making use of the spectral index connecting optical and X-ray fluxes at 11 hr (beta_OX), we investigate the relation of the intrinsic column density and the GRB `darkness'. We find that there is a very tight correlation between dark GRBs and high X-ray column densities. This clearly indicates that the dark GRBs are formed in a metal-rich environment where dust must be present.
A complete sample of bright Swift Long Gamma Ray Bursts: testing the spectral-energy correlations  [PDF]
L. Nava,R. Salvaterra,G. Ghirlanda,G. Ghisellini,S. Campana,S. Covino,G. Cusumano,P. D'Avanzo,V. D'Elia,D. Fugazza,A. Melandri,B. Sbarufatti,S. D. Vergani,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20394.x
Abstract: We use a nearly complete sample of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) detected by the Swift satellite to study the correlations between the spectral peak energy Ep of the prompt emission, the isotropic energetics Eiso and the isotropic luminosity Liso. This GRB sample is characterized by a high level of completeness in redshift (90%). This allows us to probe in an unbiased way the issue related to the physical origin of these correlations against selection effects. We find that one burst, GRB 061021, is an outlier to the Ep-Eiso correlation. Despite this case, we find strong Ep-Eiso and Ep-Liso correlations for the bursts of the complete sample. Their slopes, normalisations and dispersions are consistent with those found with the whole sample of bursts with measured redshift and Ep. This means that the biases present in the total sample commonly used to study these correlations do not affect their properties. Finally, we also find no evolution with redshift of the Ep-Eiso and Ep-Liso correlations.
A complete sample of bright Swift Gamma-Ray Bursts: X-ray afterglow luminosity and its correlation with the prompt emission  [PDF]
P. D'Avanzo,R. Salvaterra,B. Sbarufatti,L. Nava,A. Melandri,M. G. Bernardini,S. Campana,S. Covino,D. Fugazza,G. Ghirlanda,G. Ghisellini,V. La Parola,M. Perri,S. D. Vergani,G. Tagliaferri
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21489.x
Abstract: We investigate wheter there is any correlation between the X-ray afterglow luminosity and the prompt emission properties of a carefully selected sub-sample of bright Swift long Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) nearly complete in redshift (~90%). Being free of selection effects (except flux limit), this sample provides the possibility to compare the rest frame physical properties of GRB prompt and afterglow emission in an unbiased way. The afterglow X-ray luminosities are computed at four different rest frame times (5 min, 1 hr, 11 hr and 24 hr after trigger) and compared with the prompt emission isotropic energy E_iso, the isotropic peak luminosity L_iso and the rest frame peak energy E_peak. We find that the rest frame afterglow X-ray luminosity do correlate with these prompt emission quantities, but the significance of each correlation decreases over time. This result is in agreement with the idea that the GRB X-ray light curve can be described as the result of a combination of different components whose relative contribution and weight change with time, with the prompt and afterglow emission dominating at early and late time, respectively. In particular, we found evidence that the plateau and the shallow decay phase often observed in GRB X-ray light curves are powered by activity from the central engine. The existence of the L_X-E_iso correlation at late times (t_rf > 11 hr) suggests a similar radiative efficiency among different bursts with on average about 6% of the total kinetic energy powering the prompt emission.
Duration Distributions of Bright and Dim BATSE Gamma-Ray Bursts  [PDF]
J. P. Norris,J. T. Bonnell,R. J. Nemiroff,J. D. Scargle,C. Kouveliotou,W. S. Paciesas,C. A. Meegan,G. J. Fishman
Physics , 1994, DOI: 10.1086/175194
Abstract: We have measured the T90 and T50 durations of bright and dim gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE). The T90 (T50) duration is defined as the interval over which 5\% (25\%) to 95\% (75\%) of the burst counts accumulate. Out of 775 bursts observed by BATSE, 159 bursts were analyzed; bursts with durations shorter than 1.5 s were excluded. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test yields a probability of 6 x $10^{-5}$ that the T50 durations of the dim and bright samples are drawn from the same parent population. We find that the centroid and extent of the duration distribution for the dim sample are scaled by approximately a factor of two relative to those of the bright sample. The measured time dilation factor is not sensitive to choice of energy band. These results are quantitatively consistent with previous tests for time dilation in a smaller sample of BATSE bursts. The dimmer bursts, if cosmological, would lie at redshifts of order two.
Gross Spectral Differences between Bright and Dim Gamma-Ray Bursts  [PDF]
R. J. Nemiroff,J. P. Norris,J. T. Bonnell,W. A. D. T. Wickramasinghe,C. Kouveliotou,W. S. Paciesas,G. J. Fishman,C. A. Meegan
Physics , 1994, DOI: 10.1086/187612
Abstract: We find that dim gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are softer than bright GRBs, as indicated on average by data from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on board the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. We show that this correlation is statistically significant with respect to variations due to random differences between GRBs. This effect is discernable using a variety of methods and data sets, including public domain data. We analyze several types of systematic errors and selection effects in the BATSE data and conclude that the observed effect is not dominated by any of them. We therefore assert that this dim/soft effect is a real property of GRBs. It is possible that this correlation is a consequence of the time dilation detected by Norris et al. (1994) and that this is additional evidence that burst sources are located at cosmological distances.
Spectral catalogue of bright gamma-ray bursts detected with the BeppoSAX/GRBM  [PDF]
C. Guidorzi,M. Lacapra,F. Frontera,E. Montanari,L. Amati,F. Calura,L. Nicastro,M. Orlandini
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015752
Abstract: The emission process responsible for the so-called "prompt" emission of gamma-ray bursts is still unknown. A number of empirical models fitting the typical spectrum still lack a satisfactory interpretation. A few GRB spectral catalogues derived from past and present experiments are known in the literature and allow to tackle the issue of spectral properties of gamma-ray bursts on a statistical ground. We extracted and studied the time-integrated photon spectra of the 200 brightest GRBs observed with the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor which flew aboard the BeppoSAX mission (1996-2002) to provide an independent statistical characterisation of GRB spectra. The spectra were fit with three models: a simple power-law, a cut-off power law or a Band function. The typical photon spectrum of a bright GRB consists of a low-energy index around 1.0 and a peak energy of the nuFnu spectrum E_p~240 keV in agreement with previous results on a sample of bright CGRO/BATSE bursts. Spectra of ~35% of GRBs can be fit with a power-law with a photon index around 2, indicative of peak energies either close to or outside the GRBM energy boundaries. We confirm the correlation between E_p and fluence, with a logarithmic dispersion of 0.13 around the power-law with index 0.21+-0.06. The low-energy and peak energy distributions are not yet explained in the current literature. The capability of measuring time-resolved spectra over a broadband energy range, ensuring precise measurements of parameters such as E_p, will be crucial for future experiments (abridged).
BATSE Observations of Gamma-Ray Burst Spectra. II. Peak Energy Evolution in Bright, Long Bursts -  [PDF]
L. A. Ford,D. L. Band,J. L. Matteson,M. S. Briggs,G. N. Pendleton,R. D. Preece,W. S. Paciesas,B. J. Teegarden,D. M. Palmer,B. E. Schaefer,T. L. Cline,G. J. Fishman,C. Kouveliotou,C. A. Meegan,R. B. Wilson,J. P. Lestrade
Physics , 1994, DOI: 10.1086/175174
Abstract: We investigate spectral evolution in 37 bright, long gamma-ray bursts observed with the BATSE Spectroscopy Detectors. High resolution spectra are characterized by the energy of the peak of \nfn~and the evolution of this quantity is examined relative to the emission intensity. In most cases it is found that this peak energy either rises with or slightly precedes major intensity increases and softens for the remainder of the pulse. Inter-pulse emission is generally harder early in the burst. For bursts with multiple intensity pulses, later spikes tend to be softer than earlier ones indicating that the energy of the peak of \nfn~is bounded by an envelope which decays with time. Evidence is found that bursts in which the bulk of the flux comes well after the event which triggers the instrument tend to show less peak energy variability and are not as hard as several bursts in which the emission occurs promptly after the trigger. Several recently proposed burst models are examined in light of these results and no qualitative conflicts with the observations presented here are found.
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