Journal Article

The X-ray transient 080109 in NGC 2770: an X-ray flash associated with a normal core-collapse supernova

Li-Xin Li

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 2, pages 603-610
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The X-ray transient 080109 in NGC 2770: an X-ray flash associated with a normal core-collapse supernova

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Although it is generally thought that long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are associated with core-collapse supernovae (SNe), so far only four pairs of GRBs and SNe with firmly established connection have been found. All the four GRB-SNe belong to special class of Type Ic – called the broad-lined SNe indicative of a large explosion energy, suggesting that only a small fraction of SNe Ibc have GRBs associated with them. This scheme has been refreshed by the discovery of a bright X-ray transient in NGC 2770 on 2008 January 9, which was followed by a rather normal Type Ib SN 2008D. In this paper, I argue that the transient 080109 is an X-ray flash (XRF, the soft version of a GRB) because of the following evidence. (1) The transient cannot be interpreted as a SN shock breakout event. (2) The GRB X-ray flare interpretation is not supported by the high-energy observation. I then show that XRF 080109 satisfies the well-known relation between the isotropic-equivalent energy and the peak spectral energy for LGRBs, which highly strengthens the XRF interpretation. Finally, I point out that the peak spectral energy of XRF 080109 and the maximum bolometric luminosity of SN 2008D agree with the Eγ,peakLSN,max relationship of Li, strengthening the validity of the relationship. I speculate that events like XRF 080109 may occur at a rate comparable to SNe Ibc, and a soft X-ray telescope devoted to surveying for nearby X-ray flares will be very fruitful in discovering them.

Keywords: supernovae: general; supernovae: individual: SN 2008D; gamma-rays: bursts

Journal Article.  6225 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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