Publication: MAGIC Observations of the Nearby Short Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 160821B
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The coincident detection of GW170817 in gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation spanning the radio to MeV gamma-ray bands provided the first direct evidence that short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) can originate from binary neutron star (BNS) mergers. On the other hand, the properties of short GRBs in high-energy gamma-rays are still poorly constrained, with only similar to 20 events detected in the GeV band, and none in the TeV band. GRB 160821B is one of the nearest short GRBs known at z = 0.162. Recent analyses of the multiwavelength observational data of its afterglow emission revealed an optical-infrared kilonova component, characteristic of heavy-element nucleosynthesis in a BNS merger. Aiming to better clarify the nature of short GRBs, this burst was automatically followed up with the MAGIC telescopes, starting from 24 s after the burst trigger. Evidence of a gamma-ray signal is found above similar to 0.5 TeV at a significance of similar to 3 sigma during observations that lasted until 4 hr after the burst. Assuming that the observed excess events correspond to gamma-ray emission from GRB 160821B, in conjunction with data at other wavelengths, we investigate its origin in the framework of GRB afterglow models. The simplest interpretation with one-zone models of synchrotron-self-Compton emission from the external forward shock has difficulty accounting for the putative TeV flux. Alternative scenarios are discussed where the TeV emission can be relatively enhanced. The role of future GeV-TeV observations of short GRBs in advancing our understanding of BNS mergers and related topics is briefly addressed.
Artículo firmado por 190 autores. © 2021. The American Astronomical Society. We would like to thank the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma. The financial support of the German BMBF and MPG; the Italian INFN and INAF; the Swiss National Fund SNF; the ERDF under the Spanish MINECO (FPA2017-87859-P, FPA2017-85668-P, FPA2017-82729-C6-2-R, FPA2017-82729-C6-6-R, FPA2017-82729-C6-5-R, AYA2015-71042-P, AYA2016-76012-C3-1-P, ESP2017-87055-C2-2-P, FPA2017-90566-REDC); the Indian Department of Atomic Energy; the Japanese ICRR, the University of Tokyo, JSPS, and MEXT; the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, National RI Roadmap Project DO1-268/16.12.2019 and the Academy of Finland grant No. 320045 is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Spanish Centro de Excelencia "Severo Ochoa" SEV-2016-0588, SEV-2015-0548 and SEV-2012-0234, the Unidad de Excelencia "Maria de Maeztu" MDM-2014-0369 and the "la Caixa" Foundation (fellowship LCF/BQ/PI18/11630012), by the Croatian Science Foundation (HrZZ) Project IP-2016-06-9782 and the University of Rijeka Project 22.214.171.124.02, by the DFG Collaborative Research Centers SFB823/C4 and SFB876/C3, the Polish National Research Centre grant UMO-2016/22/M/ST9/00382 and by the Brazilian MCTIC, CNPq and FAPERJ. K.N. is thankful for the support by Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (H2020-MSCA-COFUND-2014, Project P-Sphere GA 665919), and JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP20KK0067 from MEXT, Japan. L.N. acknowledges funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 664931. S.I. is supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP17K05460 from MEXT, Japan, and the RIKEN iTHEMS program.; The Fermi LAT Collaboration acknowledges generous ongoing support from a number of agencies and institutes that have supported both the development and the operation of the LAT as well as scientific data analysis. These include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy in the United States, the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules in France, the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Japan, and the K. A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish National Space Board in Sweden.; Additional support for science analysis during the operations phase is gratefully acknowledged from the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Italy and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales in France. This work performed in part under DOE Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515.