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Radio Imaging of GRB Jets in Nearby Supernovae

  • Granot, Jonathan
  • Loeb, Abraham
Published Article
Publication Date
Aug 20, 2003
Submission Date
May 21, 2003
DOI: 10.1086/378262
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We calculate the time evolution of the flux, apparent size, and image centroid motion of gamma-ray burst (GRB) radio jets, and show that they can be resolved by the VLBA at distances of hundreds of Mpc. We find that GRB 030329 which showed spectroscopic evidence for an associated Type Ic supernova (SN) at a distance of $\approx$ 800 Mpc might just be resolvable by VLBA after several months. The prospects are much better for jets that are oriented sideways in similar SNe with no GRB counterpart; in particular, the motion of the flux centroid in such jets can be detected by VLBA up to $z\sim 1$ even when the jet cannot be resolved. If most GRBs are accompanied by a Type Ib/c SN, then there should be a few SN/GRB jets per year within a distance $\lesssim$ 200 Mpc, and most of them would be oriented sideways with no gamma-ray or X-ray precursor. Detection of these jets can be used to calibrate the fraction of all core collapse SNe that produce relativistic outflows and determine the local GRB rate. Overall, the rate of Type Ib/c SNe that do not produce a GRB at all, but rather make relativistic radio jets with an initial Lorentz factor of a few, may be larger by up to 2 orders of magnitude than the rate of those that produce GRBs.

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