|Other designations||GRB 970228|
|Event type||Gamma-ray burst|
|Date||28 February 1997|
|Right ascension||05h 01m 46.7s|
|Declination||+11° 46′ 53.0″|
|Distance||8,123,000,000 ly (2.491×109 pc)|
|Total energy output||5.2×1044 J|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
GRB 970228 was a gamma-ray burst (GRB). It was the first GRB which had an afterglow. It was seen on 28 February 1997. Since 1993, scientists had predicted GRBs to be followed by afterglows. But, until this event, GRBs had only been seen in very bright bursts of high-energy gamma rays.
The burst had several peaks in its light curve. It lasted around 80 seconds. The light curve was not normal. This suggested that a supernova may have happened as well. GRB 970228 happened in the same place as a galaxy about 8.1 billion light-years away. This means that GRBs happen outside the Milky Way.
Cause[change | change source]
Reichart showed that the light curve of GRB 970228 could only have been caused by a supernova. Definitive evidence linking gamma-ray bursts and supernovae was eventually found in the spectrum of GRB 020813, and the afterglow of GRB 030329. However, supernova-like features only become apparent in the weeks following a burst, leaving the possibility that very early luminosity variations could be explained by dust echoes.
References[change | change source]
- Reichart, Daniel E. 2001. Light curves and spectra of dust echoes from gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows: continued evidence that GRB 970228 is associated with a supernova. Astrophysical Journal 554 (2): 649–659. 
- Butler, Nathaniel R. et al 2003. The X-ray afterglows of GRB 020813 and GRB 021004 with Chandra HETGS: possible evidence for a supernova prior to GRB 020813. Astrophysical Journal 597 (2): 1010–1016. 
- Stanek, Krzysztof Z. et al 2003. Spectroscopic discovery of the supernova 2003dh associated with GRB0303291. Astrophysical Journal 591 (1): L17–L20. 
- Moran, Jane A. and Reichart, Daniel E. 2005. Gamma-ray burst dust echoes revisited: expectations at early times. Astrophysical Journal 632 (1): 438–442.