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29 June 2000 Afterglows of gamma-ray bursts
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Gamma-ray burst astronomy has undergone a revolution in the last three years, spurred by the discover of fading long- wavelength counterparts. We now know that at least the long duration GRBs lie at cosmological distances with estimated electromagnetic energy release of 1051-1053 erg, making these the brightest explosions in the Universe. In this article we review the current observational state of the long-lived 'afterglow' emission that accompanies GRBs at X-ray, optical, and radio afterglow wavelengths. We then discuss the insights these observations have given to the progenitor population, the energetics of the GRB events, and the physics of the afterglow emission. We focus particular attention on the evidence linking GRBs to the explosion of massive stars. Throughout, we identify remaining puzzles and uncertainties, and emphasize promising observations tools for addressing them. The imminent launch of HETE-2, the increasingly sophisticated and coordinated ground-based and space-based observations, and the increasing availability of 10-m class optical telescopes have primed this field for fantastic growth.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, Edo Berger, Joshua Simon Bloom, Frederic H. Chaffee, Alan H. Diercks, S. George Djorgovski, Dale A. Frail, Titus J. Galama, Robert Goodrich, Fiona A. Harrison, Re'em Sari, and S. A. Yost "Afterglows of gamma-ray bursts", Proc. SPIE 4005, Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes, (29 June 2000);


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