The signature of refreshed shocks in the afterglow of GRB 030329

Michael J. Moss, Robert Mochkovitch, Frédéric Daigne, Paz Beniamini, Sylvain Guiriec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GRB 030329 displays one clear and, possibly, multiple less intense fast-rising (Δt/t ∼0.3) jumps in its optical afterglow light curve. The decay rate of the optical light curve remains the same before and after the flux jumps. This may be the signature of energy injection into the shocked material at the front of the jet. In this study, we model the Gamma-ray Burst (GRB) ejecta as a series of shells. We follow the dynamical evolution of the ejecta as it interacts with itself (i.e. internal shocks) and with the circumburst medium (i.e. external forward and reverse shocks), and calculate the emission from each shock event assuming synchrotron emission. We confirm the viability of the proposed model in which the jumps in the optical afterglow light curve of GRB 030329 are produced via refreshed shocks. The refreshed shocks may be the signatures of collisions between earlier ejected material with an average Lorentz factor and later ejected material with once the early material has decelerated due to interaction with the circumburst medium. We show that even if the late material is ejected with a spread of Lorentz factors, internal shocks naturally produce a narrow distribution of Lorentz factors (ΔΓ/Γ 0.1), which is a necessary condition to produce the observed quick rise times of the jumps. These results imply a phase of internal shocks at some point in the dynamical evolution of the ejecta, which requires a low magnetization in the outflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5224-5234
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the anonymous referee for their helpful feedback and comments. MJM would like to thank Clément Pellouin for helpful discussions. MJM and SG thank the Chateaubriand Fellowship Programme supported by the Embassy of France in Washington for funding part of this work in enabling MJM’s stay at Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris for a period of 9 months. PB was supported by a grant (no. 2020747) from the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel. FD and RM acknowledge financial support from the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). SG acknowledges financial support through the Cycle-18 NASA Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Guest Investigator program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.


  • gamma-ray bursts


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