- The width of the gamma-ray burst luminosity function
- Astrophysical Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 439 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We examine the width of the gamma-ray burst (GRB) luminosity function through the distribution of GRB peak count rates, Cpeak, as detected by Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) (1993). In the context of Galactic corona spatial distribution models, we attempt to place constaints on the characteristic width of the luminosity function by comparing the observed intensity distribution with those produced by a range of density and luminosity functions. We find that the intrinsic width of the luminosity function cannot be very well restricted. However, the distribution of intrinsic luminosities of detected bursts can be limited: we find that most observed bursts have luminosities that are in a range of one to two decades, but a significant population of undetected less luminous bursts cannot be excluded. These findings demonstrate that the assumption that GRB are standard candles is sufficient but not necessary to explain the observed intensity distribution. We show that the main reason for the relatively poor constraints is the fact that the bright-end part of the GRB flux distribution is not yet sampled by BATSE, and better sampling in the future may lead to significantly stronger constraints on the width of the luminosity function.
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- (c)1995 American Astronomical Society
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