In the set of 236 gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows observed by Swift between 2005 January and 2007 March, we identify 30 X-ray light-curves that have power-law fall-offs that exhibit a steepening (`break') at 0.1-10 d after they are triggered, to a decay steeper than t-1.5. For most of these afterglows, the X-ray spectral slope and the decay indices before and after the break can be accommodated by the standard jet model although a different origin of the breaks cannot be ruled out. In addition, there are 27 other afterglows which have X-ray light-curves that may also exhibit a late break to a steep decay, but the evidence is not that compelling. The X-ray emissions of 38 afterglows decay slower than t-1.5 until after 3 d, half of them exhibiting such a slow decay until after 10 d. Therefore, the fraction of well-monitored Swift afterglows with potential jet breaks is around 60 per cent, whether we count only the strongest cases for each type or all of them. This fraction is comparable to the 75 per cent of pre-Swift afterglows which have optical light-curves that displayed similar breaks at ~1 d. The peak energy of the GRB spectrum of Swift afterglows with light-curve breaks shows the same correlations with the burst isotropic output (Amati relation) and with the burst collimated output (Ghirlanda relation) as previously found for pre-Swift optical afterglows with light-curve breaks. However, we find that the Ghirlanda relation is largely a consequence of Amati's and that the use of the jet-break time leads to a stronger Ghirlanda correlation only when the few objects that do not satisfy the Amati relation are included.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- September 2007
- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal;
- shock waves;
- gamma-rays: bursts;
- 7 pages, accepted by MNRAS, afterglows with lower limits on jet-break time added to Amati &