Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series

New Limits on Short GRBs from Radio Observations

Presented by Sarah Chastain, UNM

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are among the most powerful explosive transients in the sky, accelerating electrons to extremely high Lorentz factors and emitting photons with up to TeV energies. Short GRBs are caused by binary mergers of compact objects, with some of them associated with kilonovae and one with a gravitational wave event. Following the GRB prompt gamma-ray emission, irrespective of the progenitor, an afterglow is observed across the electromagnetic spectrum, due to the interaction between the ejected material and the surrounding medium. Multiwavelength observations provide constraints on the physical parameters of the jet, its surrounding medium, and the microphysics of the enhanced magnetic fields and accelerated electrons in the blast wave at the front of the jet. Radio observations provide a particularly important role, since the synchrotron emission from GRB afterglows can be tracked and well defined over time, especially in the case of bright ones. As part of the ThunderKAT project we will present the results of eight SGRB observations with the MeerKAT radio telescope. Using these results we report one detected SGRB and deep upper limits that place constraints on the physical parameters and imply that deeper observations with future telescopes should be able to provide deeper insights into GRB afterglow physics.

2:00 pm, Thursday, September 7, 2023

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