A short γ-ray burst apparently associated with an elliptical galaxy at redshift z = 0.225

N. Gehrels*, C. L. Sarazin, P. T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, L. Barbier, S. D. Barthelmy, A. Blustin, D. N. Burrows, J. Cannizzo, J. R. Cummings, M. Goad, S. T. Holland, C. P. Hurkett, J. A. Kennea, A. Levan, C. B. Markwardt, K. O. Mason, P. Meszaros, M. Page, D. M. PalmerE. Rol, T. Sakamoto, R. Willingale, L. Angelini, A. Beardmore, P. T. Boyd, A. Breeveld, S. Campana, M. M. Chester, G. Chincarini, L. R. Cominsky, G. Cusumano, M. De Pasquale, E. E. Fenimore, P. Giommi, C. Gronwall, D. Grupe, J. E. Hill, D. Hinshaw, J. Hjorth, D. Hullinger, K. C. Hurley, S. Klose, S. Kobayashi, C. Kouveliotou, H. A. Krimm, V. Mangano, F. E. Marshall, K. McGowan, A. Moretti, R. F. Mushotzky, K. Nakazawa, J. P. Norris, J. A. Nousek, J. P. Osborne, K. Page, A. M. Parsons, S. Patel, M. Perri, T. Poole, P. Romano, P. W A Roming, S. Rosen, G. Sato, P. Schady, A. P. Smale, J. Sollerman, R. Starling, M. Still, M. Suzuki, G. Tagliaferri, T. Takahashi, M. Tashiro, J. Tueller, A. A. Wells, N. E. White, R. A M J Wijers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

481 Citations (Scopus)


Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) come in two classes1: long (>2 s), soft-spectrum bursts and short, hard events. Most progress has been made on understanding the long GRBs, which are typically observed at high redshift (z ≈ 1) and found in subluminous star-forming host galaxies. They are likely to be produced in core-collapse explosions of massive stars2. In contrast, no short GRB had been accurately (<10″) and rapidly (minutes) located. Here we report the detection of the X-ray afterglow from-and the localization of-the short burst GRB 050509B. Its position on the sky is near a luminous, non-star-forming elliptical galaxy at a redshift of 0.225, which is the location one would expect3,4 if the origin of this GRB is through the merger of neutron-star or black-hole binaries. The X-ray afterglow was weak and faded below the detection limit within a few hours; no optical afterglow was detected to stringent limits, explaining the past difficulty in localizing short GRBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-854
Number of pages4
Issue number7060
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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