GRB 050709 was the first short Gamma-ray Burst (sGRB) with an identified optical counterpart. Here we report a reanalysis of the publicly available data of this event and the discovery of a Li-Paczynski macronova/kilonova that dominates the optical/infrared signal at t>2.5 days. Such a signal would arise from 0.05 r-process material launched by a compact binary merger. The implied mass ejection supports the suggestion that compact binary mergers are significant and possibly main sites of heavy r-process nucleosynthesis. Furthermore, we have reanalysed all afterglow data from nearby short and hybrid GRBs (shGRBs). A statistical study of shGRB/macronova connection reveals that macronova may have taken place in all these GRBs, although the fraction as low as 0.18 cannot be ruled out. The identification of two of the three macronova candidates in the I-band implies a more promising detection prospect for ground-based surveys.
- Pub Date:
- September 2016
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 12 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in Nature Communications