- On the nature of the short-duration GRB 050906
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 384 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We present deep optical and infrared (IR) observations of the short-duration GRB 050906. Although no X-ray or optical/IR afterglow was discovered to deep limits, the error circle of the gamma-ray burst (GRB) (as derived from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope, or BAT) is unusual in containing the relatively local starburst galaxy IC328. This makes GRB 050906 a candidate burst from a soft gamma-ray repeater (SGR), similar to the giant flare from SGR 1806−20. The probability of chance alignment of a given BAT position with such a galaxy is small (<~1 per cent), although the size of the error circle (2.6 arcmin radius) is such that a higher z origin cannot be ruled out. Indeed, the error circle also includes a moderately rich galaxy cluster at z= 0.43, which is a plausible location for the burst given the apparent preference that short-duration GRBs have for regions of high mass density. No residual optical or IR emission has been observed, in the form of either an afterglow or a later time emission from any associated supernova-like event. We discuss the constraints these limits place on the progenitor of GRB 050906 based on the expected optical signatures from both SGRs and merging compact object systems.
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