We present the IXPE observation of GRB 221009A, which includes upper limits on the linear polarization degree of both prompt and afterglow emission in the soft X-ray energy band. GRB 221009A is an exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) that reached Earth on 2022 October 9 after traveling through the dust of the Milky Way. The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) pointed at GRB 221009A on October 11 to observe, for the first time, the 2-8 keV X-ray polarization of a GRB afterglow. We set an upper limit to the polarization degree of the afterglow emission of 13.8% at a 99% confidence level. This result provides constraints on the jet opening angle and the viewing angle of the GRB, or alternatively, other properties of the emission region. Additionally, IXPE captured halo-rings of dust-scattered photons that are echoes of the GRB prompt emission. The 99% confidence level upper limit to the prompt polarization degree depends on the background model assumption, and it ranges between similar to 55% and similar to 82%. This single IXPE pointing provides both the first assessment of X-ray polarization of a GRB afterglow and the first GRB study with polarization observations of both the prompt and afterglow phases.

The IXPE View of GRB 221009A

Stefano Silvestri;Luca Baldini;
2023-01-01

Abstract

We present the IXPE observation of GRB 221009A, which includes upper limits on the linear polarization degree of both prompt and afterglow emission in the soft X-ray energy band. GRB 221009A is an exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) that reached Earth on 2022 October 9 after traveling through the dust of the Milky Way. The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) pointed at GRB 221009A on October 11 to observe, for the first time, the 2-8 keV X-ray polarization of a GRB afterglow. We set an upper limit to the polarization degree of the afterglow emission of 13.8% at a 99% confidence level. This result provides constraints on the jet opening angle and the viewing angle of the GRB, or alternatively, other properties of the emission region. Additionally, IXPE captured halo-rings of dust-scattered photons that are echoes of the GRB prompt emission. The 99% confidence level upper limit to the prompt polarization degree depends on the background model assumption, and it ranges between similar to 55% and similar to 82%. This single IXPE pointing provides both the first assessment of X-ray polarization of a GRB afterglow and the first GRB study with polarization observations of both the prompt and afterglow phases.
2023
Negro, Michela; Di Lalla, Niccolò; Omodei, Nicola; Veres, Péter; Silvestri, Stefano; Manfreda, Alberto; Burns, Eric; Baldini, Luca; Costa, Enrico; Ehl...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1209767
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