Schedule Feb 06, 2006
Evidence for Lines in GRB Afterglows, and Prospects
James Reeves (GSFC)

The evidence for X-ray line emission in GRB afterglows is reviewed. Evidence from XMM-Newton observations of GRB afterglows has showed moderate statistical significance soft X-ray lines in at least 3 GRB afterglows, GRB 011211, GRB 030227 and GRB 040106. Blue-shifted soft X-ray lines from Si, S, Ar were originally claimed in GRB 011211, which was interpreted as emission from hot, outflowing gas around the GRB progenitor, possibly originating from a supernova explosion. The statistical significance of the line features. e.g. through Monte Carlo simulations, will be addressed. Preliminary results from the afterglow spectra provided by Swift XRT will also be presented. A small number of these afterglows may show evidence for a soft X-ray excess, while a large proportion show excess X-ray absorption. None of the afterglows appear to show evidence for Fe line emission, in contrast with very early afterglow spectra obtained by Beppo-SAX, ASCA and Chandra, but in agreement with the XMM-Newton observations. The potential for detecting X-ray line features at higher statistical significance will be discussed.

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