Journal Article

Practical flux prescriptions for gamma-ray burst afterglows, from early to late times

K. Leventis, H. J. van Eerten, Z. Meliani and R. A. M. J. Wijers

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 2, pages 1329-1343
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Practical flux prescriptions for gamma-ray burst afterglows, from early to late times

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We present analytic flux prescriptions for broad-band spectra of self-absorbed and optically thin synchrotron radiation from gamma-ray burst afterglows, based on 1D relativistic hydrodynamic simulations. By treating the evolution of critical spectrum parameters as a power-law break between the ultrarelativistic and non-relativistic asymptotic solutions, we generalize the prescriptions to any observer time. Our aim is to provide a set of formulas that constitutes a useful tool for accurate fitting of model parameters to observational data, regardless of the dynamical phase of the outflow. The applicability range is not confined to gamma-ray burst afterglows, but includes all spherical outflows (also jets before the jet-break) that produce synchrotron radiation as they adiabatically decelerate in a cold, power-law medium. We test the accuracy of the prescriptions and show that numerical evidence suggests that typical relative errors in the derivation of physical quantities are about 10 per cent. A software implementation of the presented flux prescriptions combined with a fitting code is freely available on request and online.1 Together they can be used in order to directly fit model parameters to data.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; radiative transfer; shock waves; gamma-ray burst: general

Journal Article.  11453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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