Title

Testing the High-latitude Curvature Effect of Gamma-Ray Bursts with Fermi Data: Evidence of Bulk Acceleration in Prompt Emission

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-23-2021

Publication Title

Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series

Volume

253

Issue

2

Abstract

When a gamma-ray burst (GRB) emitter stops emission abruptly, the observer receives rapidly fading emission from high latitudes with respect to the line of sight, known as the "curvature effect."Identifying such emission from GRB prompt-emission lightcurves would constrain the radius of prompt emission from the central engine and the composition of GRB jets. We perform a dedicated search of high-latitude emission (HLE) through spectral and temporal analyses of a sample of single-pulse bursts detected by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor on board the Fermi satellite. We identify HLE from a subsample of bursts and constrain the emission radius to be R GRB ∼ (1015-1016) cm from the central engine. Some bursts have the HLE decay faster than predicted by a constant Lorentz factor jet, suggesting that the emission region is undergoing acceleration during prompt emission. This supports the Poynting-flux-dominated jet composition for these bursts. The conclusion is consistent with previous results drawn from spectral-lag modeling of prompt emission and HLE analysis of X-ray flares.

Disciplines

Astrophysics and Astronomy

Language

English

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