The long Swift gamma-ray burst GRB 120326A at redshift z = 1.798 exhibited a multi-band light-curve with a striking feature: a late-time, long-lasting achromatic rebrightening that is rarely seen in such events. Peaking in optical and X-ray bands ~35 ks (~12.5 ks in the GRB rest frame) after the 70 s GRB prompt burst, the feature brightened nearly two orders of magnitude above the underlying optical power-law decay. By modelling the multi-wavelength light-curves, we investigated possible causes of the rebrightening in the context of the standard fireball model. We excluded a range of scenarios for the origin of this feature: reverse-shock flash, late-time forward-shock peak caused by the passage of the brightest synchrotron frequency through the optical band, late central engine optical or X-ray flares, interaction between the expanding blast wave and a density enhancement in the circumburst medium, and gravitational microlensing. Instead we conclude that the achromatic rebrightening may be caused by a refreshed forward shock or a geometrical effect. In addition, we identify an additional component after the end of the prompt emission, which shapes the observed X-ray and optical light-curves differently, and which rules out a single overall emission component to explain the observed early-time emission.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2014
- gamma-ray burst: general;
- gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 120326A;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 7 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy &