Milagro constraints on very high energy emission from short-duration gamma-ray bursts

A. A. Abdo, B. T. Allen, D. Berley, E. Blaufuss, S. Casanova, B. L. Dingus, R. W. Ellsworth, M. M. Gonzalez, J. A. Goodman, E. Hays, C. M. Hoffman, B. E. Kolterman, C. P. Lansdell, J. T. Linnemann, J. E. McEnery, A. I. Mincer, P. Nemethy, D. Noyes, J. M. Ryan, F. W. SamuelsonP. M. Saz Parkinson, A. Shoup, G. Sinnis, A. J. Smith, G. W. Sullivan, V. Vasileiou, G. P. Walker, D. A. Williams, X. W. Xu, G. B. Yodh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Recent rapid localizations of short, hard gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) by the Swift and HETE satellites have led to the observation of the first afterglows and the measurement of the first redshifts from this type of burst (Fox et al. 2005; Gehrels et al. 2005; Villasenor et al. 2005; Berger et al. 2005; Barthelmy et al. 2005). Detection of >100 GeV counterparts would place powerful constraints on GRB mechanisms. Seventeen short-duration (<5 s) GRBs detected by satellites occurred within the field of view of the Milagro gamma-ray observatory between 2000 January and 2006 December. We have searched the Milagro data for >100 GeV counterparts to these GRBs and find no significant emission correlated with these bursts. Due to the absorption of high-energy gamma rays by the extragalactic background light (EBL), detections are only expected for redshifts less than ∼0.5. While most long-duration GRBs occur at redshifts higher than 0.5, the opposite is thought to be true of short GRBs. Lack of a detected VHE signal thus allows setting meaningful fluence limits. One GRB in the sample (050509b) has a likely association with a galaxy at a redshift of 0.225, while another (051103) has been tentatively linked to the nearby galaxy M81. Fluence limits are corrected for EBL absorption, either using the known measured redshift, or computing the corresponding absorption for a redshift of 0.1 and 0.5, as well as for the case of z = 0.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)361-367
    Number of pages7
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume666
    Issue number1 I
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Gamma rays: bursts
    • Gamma rays: observations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

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