A structured jet explains the extreme GRB 221009A

Brendan O'Connor, Eleonora Troja, Geoffrey Ryan, Paz Beniamini, Hendrik van Eerten, Jonathan Granot, Simone Dichiara, Roberto Ricci, Vladimir Lipunov, James H. Gillanders, Ramandeep Gill, Michael Moss, Shreya Anand, Igor Andreoni, Rosa L. Becerra, David A.H. Buckley, Nathaniel R. Butler, Stephen B. Cenko, Aristarkh Chasovnikov, Joseph DurbakCarlos Francile, Erica Hammerstein, Alexander J. van der Horst, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Alexander S. Kutyrev, William H. Lee, Gokul P. Srinivasaragavan, Vladislav Topolev, Alan M. Watson, Yuhan Yang, Kirill Zhirkov

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Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are powerful cosmic explosions, signaling the death of massive stars. Among them, GRB 221009A is by far the brightest burst ever observed. Because of its enormous energy (Eiso ≈ 1055 erg) and proximity (z ≈ 0.15), GRB 221009A is an exceptionally rare event that pushes the limits of our theories. We present multiwavelength observations covering the first 3 months of its afterglow evolution. The x-ray brightness decays as a power law with slope ≈t-1.66, which is not consistent with standard predictions for jetted emission. We attribute this behavior to a shallow energy profile of the relativistic jet. A similar trend is observed in other energetic GRBs, suggesting that the most extreme explosions may be powered by structured jets launched by a common central engine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereadi1405
Pages (from-to)eadi1405
JournalScience advances
Issue number23
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2023

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