ChJAA Vol 5, No 2 (2005) / Cui

Sequences in the Hardness Ratio-Peak Energy Plane of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Xiao-Hong Cui, En-Wei Liang, Rui-Jing Lu


The narrowness of the distribution of the peak energy of the νFν spectrum of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and the unification of GRB populations are great puzzles yet to be solved. We investigate the two puzzles based on the global spectral behaviors of different GRB populations, the long GRBs, the short GRBs, and the X-ray flashes (XRFs), in the HREp plane (HR the spectral hardness ratio) with BATSE and HETE-2 observations. It is found that the long GRBs and the XRFs observed by HETE-2 seem to follow the same sequence in the HREp plane, with the XRFs at the low end of this sequence. We fit the sequence by a universal Band function, and find that this sequence is mainly defined by the low energy index α, and is insensitive to the high energy index, β. With fixed β = −5, a best fit is given by α = −1.00 with χ2min/dof = 2.2. The long and short GRBs observed by BATSE follow significantly different sequences in the HREp plane, with most of the short GRBs having a larger hardness ratio than the long GRBs at a given Ep. For the long GRBs a best-fit yields α = −0.30 and β = −2.05. For the short GRBs, a best fit gives α = −0.60 with χ2min = 1.1 (with β fixed at -2.0 because it is numerically unstable). The α value for the short GRBs is significantly greater than that for the long GRBs. These results indicate that the global spectral behaviors of the long GRB sample and the XRF sample are similar, while that of the short GRBs is different. The short GRBs seem to be a unique subclass of GRBs, and they are not the higher energy extension of the long GRBs.


gamma ray: bursts --- gamma ray: observations --- methods: statistical

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