AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 19 GRB and SGR
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[19.04] Discovery of the Short Gamma Ray Burst GRB 050709

J.S. Villasenor (MIT Kavli Institute), D.Q. Lamb (University of Chicago), G.R. Ricker (MIT Kavli Institute), J.-L. Atteia (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees), N. Kawai (Tokyo Institute of Technology), N. Butler (MIT Kavli Institute), Y. Nakagawa (Aoyama Gakuin University), J.G. Jernigan (UC Berkeley, SSL), M. Boer (CESR,Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees), G.B. Crew (MIT Kavli Institute), T.Q. Donaghy (University of Chicago), J. Doty (Noqsi Aerospace, Ltd.), E.E. Fenimore, M. Galassi (LANL), C. Graziani (University of Chicago), K. Hurley (UC Berkeley, SSL), A. Levine (MIT Kavli Institute), F. Martel (Espace Inc.), M. Matsuoka, J.-F. Olive (Tsukuba Space Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), G. Prigozhin (MIT Kavli Institute), T. Sakamoto (GSFC), Y. Shirasaki (National Astronomical Observatory), M. Suzuki (RIKEN), T. Tamagawa (Aoyama Gakuin University), R. Vanderspek (MIT Kavli Institute), S.E. Woosley (UC Santa Cruz), A. Yoshida (Aoyama Gakuin University), J. Braga (INPE), R. Manchanda (TIFR), G. Pizzichini (INAF/IASF Bologna), K. Takagishi, M. Yamauchi (Faculty of Engineering, Miyazaki University), HETE-2 Team

Gamma-Ray Bursts fall into two classes: short-hard and long-soft bursts. The latter are now known to have X-ray and optical afterglows, to occur at cosmological distances in star-forming galaxies, and to be associated with the explosion of massive stars. In contrast, the distance scale, the energy scale, and the progenitors of short bursts have remained a mystery. Here we report the discovery of a short-hard burst whose accurate localization has led to follow-up observations that have identified the X-ray afterglow and (for the first time) the optical afterglow of a short-hard burst. These, in turn, have led to identification of the host galaxy of the burst as a late-type galaxy at z = 0.16, showing that at least some short-hard bursts occur at cosmological distances in the outskirts of galaxies, and are likely to be due to the merging of compact binaries.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.