A JET BREAK IN THE X-RAY LIGHT CURVE OF SHORT GRB 111020A: IMPLICATIONS FOR ENERGETICS AND RATES

W. Fong, E. Berger, R. Margutti, B. A. Zauderer, E. Troja, I. Czekala, R. Chornock, N. Gehrels, T. Sakamoto, D. B. Fox, P. Podsiadlowski
2012 Astrophysical Journal  
We present broad-band observations of the afterglow and environment of the short GRB 111020A. An extensive X-ray light curve from Swift/XRT, XMM-Newton and Chandra, spanning ~100 seconds to 10 days after the burst, reveals a significant break at t~2 days with pre- and post-break decline rates of alphaX,1 ~ -0.78 and alphaX,2<-1.7, respectively. Interpreted as a jet break, we infer a collimated outflow with an opening angle of ~3-8 degrees. The resulting beaming-corrected gamma-ray (10-1000 keV
more » ... a-ray (10-1000 keV band) and blastwave kinetic energies are (2-3)e48 erg and (0.3-2)e49 erg, respectively, with the range depending on the unknown redshift of the burst. We report a radio afterglow limit of <39 microJy (3-sigma) from EVLA observations which, along with our finding that vc24.4 mag at 18 hours after the burst, and reveal a potential host galaxy with i~24.3 mag. The sub-arcsecond localization from Chandra provides a precise offset of 0.80"+/-0.11" (1-sigma) from this galaxy corresponding to an offset of 5-7 kpc for z=0.5-1.5. We find a high excess neutral Hydrogen column density of (7.5+/-2.0)e21 cm^(-2) (z=0). Our observations demonstrate that a growing fraction of short GRBs are collimated which may lead to a true event rate of >100-1000 Gpc^(-3) yr^(-1), in good agreement with the NS-NS merger rate of ~200-3000 Gpc^(-3) yr^(-1). This consistency is promising for coincident short GRB-gravitational wave searches in the forthcoming era of Advanced LIGO/VIRGO.
doi:10.1088/0004-637x/756/2/189 fatcat:m7cufj57ufdtvpf32rbjwle7ay