Detection of a supernova signature associated with GRB 011121

J. S. Bloom*, S. R. Kulkarni, P. A. Price, D. Reichart, T. J. Galama, B. P. Schmidt, D. A. Frail, E. Berger, P. J. McCarthy, R. A. Chevalier, J. C. Wheeler, J. P. Halpern, D. W. Fox, S. G. Djorgovski, F. A. Harrison, R. Sari, T. S. Axelrod, R. A. Kimble, J. Holtzman, K. HurleyF. Frontera, L. Piro, E. Costa

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    125 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Using observations from an extensive monitoring campaign with the Hubble Space Telescope, we present the detection of an intermediate-time flux excess that is redder in color relative to the afterglow of GRB 011121, currently distinguished as the gamma-ray burst with the lowest known redshift. The red "bump," which exhibits a spectral rollover at ∼7200 A, is well described by a redshifted Type le supernova that occurred approximately at the same time as the gamma-ray burst event. The inferred luminosity is about half that of the bright supernova SN 1998bw. These results serve as compelling evidence for a massive star origin of long-duration gamma-ray bursts. Models that posit a supernova explosion weeks to months preceding the gamma-ray burst event are excluded by these observations. Finally, we discuss the relationship between spherical core-collapse supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)L45-L49
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume572
    Issue number1 II
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2002

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