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The prompt, high resolution spectroscopic view of the "naked-eye" GRB080319B

Abstract : GRB080319B reached 5th optical magnitude during the burst. Thanks to the VLT/UVES rapid response mode, we observed its afterglow just 8m:30s after the GRB onset when the magnitude was R ~ 12. This allowed us to obtain the best signal-to-noise, high resolution spectrum of a GRB afterglow ever (S/N per resolution element ~ 50). The spectrum is rich of absorption features belonging to the main system at z=0.937, divided in at least six components spanning a total velocity range of 100 km/s. The VLT/UVES observations caught the absorbing gas in a highly excited state, producing the strongest Fe II fine structure lines ever observed in a GRB. A few hours later the optical depth of these lines was reduced by a factor of 4-20, and the optical/UV flux by a factor of ~ 60. This proves that the excitation of the observed fine structure lines is due to ''pumping'' by the GRB UV photons. A comparison of the observed ratio between the number of photons absorbed by the excited state and those in the Fe II ground state suggests that the six absorbers are $\gs18-34$ kpc from the GRB site, with component I ~ 2 times closer to the GRB site than components III to VI. Component I is characterized also by the lack of Mg I absorption, unlike all other components. This may be due to a higher gas temperature, suggesting a structured ISM in this galaxy complex.
keyword : gamma rays: bursts
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Contributor : Simone Lantz <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 5, 2008 - 2:48:04 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:37:00 AM

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V. d'Elia, F. Fiore, R. Perna, Y. Krongold, S. Covino, et al.. The prompt, high resolution spectroscopic view of the "naked-eye" GRB080319B. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2009, 694, pp.332-338. ⟨10.1088/0004-637X/694/1/332⟩. ⟨in2p3-00319078⟩



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