Diverse Jet Structures Consistent with the Off-axis Afterglow of GRB 170817A

26 Jul 2020  ·  Kazuya Takahashi, Kunihito Ioka ·

The jet structure of short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) has been controversial after the detection of GRB 170817A as the electromagnetic counterparts to the gravitational wave event GW170817. Different authors use different jet structures for calculating the afterglow light curves... We formulated a method to inversely reconstruct a jet structure from a given off-axis GRB afterglow, without assuming any functional form of the structure. By systematically applying our inversion method, we find that more diverse jet structures are consistent with the observed afterglow of GRB 170817A within errors: such as hollow-cone, spindle, Gaussian, and power-law jet structures. In addition, the total energy of the reconstructed jet is arbitrary, proportional to the ambient density $n_0$, with keeping the same jet shape if the parameters satisfy the degeneracy combination $n_0 \varepsilon_\mathrm{B}^{(p+1)/(p+5)} \varepsilon_\mathrm{e}^{4(p-1)/(p+5)} = \mathrm{const.}$. Observational accuracy less than $\sim 6$ per cent is necessary to distinguish the different shapes, while the degeneracy of the energy scaling would be broken by observing the spectral breaks and viewing angle. Future events in denser environment with brighter afterglows and observable spectral breaks are ideal for our inversion method to pin down the jet structure, providing the key to the jet formation and propagation. read more

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena