Magnetar giant flares are rare explosive events releasing up to 1047 erg in gamma rays in less than 1 second from young neutron stars with magnetic fields up to 1015−16 G (refs. 1,2). Only three such flares have been seen from magnetars in our Galaxy3,4 and in the Large Magellanic Cloud5 in roughly 50 years. This small sample can be enlarged by the discovery of extragalactic events, as for a fraction of a second giant flares reach luminosities above 1046 erg s−1, which makes them visible up to a few tens of megaparsecs. However, at these distances they are difficult to distinguish from short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs); much more distant and energetic (1050−53 erg) events, originating in compact binary mergers6. A few short GRBs have been proposed7–11, with different amounts of confidence, as candidate giant magnetar flares in nearby galaxies. Here we report observations of GRB 231115A, positionally coincident with the starburst galaxy M82 (ref. 12). Its spectral properties, along with the length of the burst, the limits on its X-ray and optical counterparts obtained within a few hours, and the lack of a gravitational wave signal, unambiguously qualify this burst as a giant flare from a magnetar in M82.

Mereghetti, S., Rigoselli, M., Salvaterra, R., Pacholski, D., Craig Rodi, J., Gotz, D., et al. (2024). A magnetar giant flare in the nearby starburst galaxy M82. NATURE, 629(8010), 58-61 [10.1038/s41586-024-07285-4].

A magnetar giant flare in the nearby starburst galaxy M82

Dominik Patryk Pacholski;
2024

Abstract

Magnetar giant flares are rare explosive events releasing up to 1047 erg in gamma rays in less than 1 second from young neutron stars with magnetic fields up to 1015−16 G (refs. 1,2). Only three such flares have been seen from magnetars in our Galaxy3,4 and in the Large Magellanic Cloud5 in roughly 50 years. This small sample can be enlarged by the discovery of extragalactic events, as for a fraction of a second giant flares reach luminosities above 1046 erg s−1, which makes them visible up to a few tens of megaparsecs. However, at these distances they are difficult to distinguish from short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs); much more distant and energetic (1050−53 erg) events, originating in compact binary mergers6. A few short GRBs have been proposed7–11, with different amounts of confidence, as candidate giant magnetar flares in nearby galaxies. Here we report observations of GRB 231115A, positionally coincident with the starburst galaxy M82 (ref. 12). Its spectral properties, along with the length of the burst, the limits on its X-ray and optical counterparts obtained within a few hours, and the lack of a gravitational wave signal, unambiguously qualify this burst as a giant flare from a magnetar in M82.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
gamma-ray transients, gamma-ray bursts, neutron star mergers, soft gamma repeaters, magnetars
English
24-apr-2024
2024
629
8010
58
61
none
Mereghetti, S., Rigoselli, M., Salvaterra, R., Pacholski, D., Craig Rodi, J., Gotz, D., et al. (2024). A magnetar giant flare in the nearby starburst galaxy M82. NATURE, 629(8010), 58-61 [10.1038/s41586-024-07285-4].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/474300
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