Swift and XMM-Newton Observations of the Extraordinary Gamma-Ray Burst 060729: More than 125 Days of X-Ray Afterglow
We report the results of the Swift and XMM-Newton observations of the Swift -discovered GRB 060729 (T90=115 s). The afterglow of this burst was exceptionally bright in X-rays as well as at UV/optical wavelengths, showing an unusually long slow decay phase (α=0.14+/-0.02), suggesting a larger energy injection phase at early times than in other bursts. The X-ray light curve displays a break at about 60 ks after the burst. The X-ray decay slope after the break is α=1.29+/-0.03. Up to 125 days after the burst we do not detect a jet break, suggesting that the jet opening angle is larger than 28°. We find that the X-ray spectra of the early phase change dramatically and can all be fitted by an absorbed single-power-law models or alternatively by a blackbody plus power-law model. The power-law fits show that the X-ray spectrum becomes steeper while the absorption column density decreases. In the blackbody model the temperature decreases from kT=0.6 to 0.1 keV between 85 and 160 s after the burst in the rest frame. The afterglow was clearly detected up to 9 days after the burst in all six UVOT filters and in UVW1 even for 31 days. A break at about 50 ks is clearly detected in all six UVOT filters from a shallow decay slope of about 0.3 and a steeper decay slope of 1.3.The XMM-Newton observations started about 12 hr after the burst and show a typical afterglow X-ray spectrum with βX=1.1 and absorption column density of 1×1021 cm-2.