The supernova 2003lw associated with X-ray flash 031203

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The X-Ray Flash (XRF), 031203 with a host galaxy at z = 0.1055, is, apart from GRB 980425, the closest γ-Ray Burst (GRB) or XRF known to date. We have monitored its host galaxy from 1-100 days after the burst. In spite of the high extinction to the source and the bright host, a significant increase and subsequent decrease has been detected in the apparent brightness of the host, peaking between 10 and 33 days after the GRB. The only convincing explanation is a supernova (SN) associated with the XRF, SN2003lw. This is the earliest time at which a SN signal is clearly discernible in a GRB/XRF (apart from SN1998bw). SN2003lw is extremely luminous with a broad peak and can be approximately represented by the lightcurve of SN1998bw brightened by ∼0.55 mag, implying a hypernova, as observed in most GRB-SNe. The XRF-SN association firmly links XRFs with the deaths of massive stars and further strengthens their connection with GRBs. The fact that SNe are also associated with XRFs implies that Swift may detect a significant population of intermediate redshift SNe very soon after the SN explosions, a sample ideally suited for detailed studies of early SN physics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)L21-L25
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004

    Research areas

  • Gamma rays: bursts, Supernovae: general

ID: 243911571