The Ultra-long Gamma-Ray Burst 111209A: The Collapse of a Blue Supergiant?
We present optical, X-ray and gamma-ray observations of GRB 111209A, observed at a redshift of z = 0.677. We show that this event was active in its prompt phase for about 25000 s, making it the longest burst ever observed. This rare event could have been detected up to z ~ 1.4 in gamma-rays. Compared to other long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), GRB 111209A is a clear outlier in the energy-fluence and duration plane. The high-energy prompt emission shows no sign of a strong blackbody component, the signature of a tidal disruption event, or a supernova shock breakout. Given the extreme longevity of this event, and lack of any significant observed supernova signature, we propose that GRB 111209A resulted from the core-collapse of a low-metallicity blue supergiant star. This scenario is favored because of the necessity to supply enough mass to the central engine over a duration of thousands of seconds. Hence, we suggest that GRB 111209A could have more in common with population III stellar explosions, rather than those associated with normal long GRBs.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- March 2013
- gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB111209A;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- Accepted by ApJ