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The radiation mechanism of the prompt emission of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) remains an open question. Although their spectra are usually well fitted with the empirical Band function, which is widely believed to be fully nonthermal and interpreted as an optically thin synchrotron emission, accumulating evidence shows that a thermal component actually exists. In this paper, a multicolor blackbody (mBB) model is proposed for the time-integrated spectrum of GRB 081221 by assuming a power-law distribution of the thermal luminosities with temperature, which manifests photospheric emissions from a different radius and/or angle. The effects of the minimum temperature kT min, the maximum temperature kT max, and the power-law index m of the luminosity distribution of an mBB are discussed. The fitting to the time-integrated spectrum during the bright phase (from 20 to 30 s since the trigger) of GRB 081221 by the mBB model yields kT min = 4.4 ± 0.3 keV, , and . When the time bin is small enough, the time-resolved spectra of GRB 081221 are well fitted with a series of single-temperature blackbodies. Our results imply the prompt emission of GRB 081221 is dominated by the photosphere emission and its time-integrated spectrum is a superposition of pure blackbody components at different times, indicating that some empirical Band spectra may be interpreted as mBB if the temperature is widely distributed.
Gamma-ray burst: Individual (GRB 081221); Radiation mechanisms: Thermal
Astrophysics and Astronomy
Multicolor Blackbody Emission in GRB 081221.
Astrophysical Journal, 866(1),