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Margutti R.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Margutti R.,National institute for astrophysics | Zaninoni E.,National institute for astrophysics | Zaninoni E.,University of Padua | And 23 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We present a comprehensive statistical analysis of Swift X-ray light curves of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) collecting data from more than 650 GRBs discovered by Swift and other facilities. The unprecedented sample size allows us to constrain the rest-frame X-ray properties of GRBs from a statistical perspective, with particular reference to intrinsic time-scales and the energetics of the different light-curve phases in a common rest-frame 0.3-30 keV energy band. Temporal variability episodes are also studied and their properties constrained. Two fundamental questions drive this effort: (i) Does the X-ray emission retain any kind of 'memory' of the prompt γ -ray phase? (ii) Where is the dividing line between long and short GRB X-ray properties? We show that short GRBs decay faster, are less luminous and less energetic than long GRBs in the X-rays, but are interestingly characterized by similar intrinsic absorption. We furthermore reveal the existence of a number of statistically significant relations that link the X-ray to prompt γ -ray parameters in long GRBs; short GRBs are outliers of the majority of these two-parameter relations. However and more importantly, we report on the existence of a universal three-parameter scaling that links the X-ray and the γ -ray energy to the prompt spectral peak energy of both long and short GRBs: EX,iso α E1.00±0.06 /E0.60±0.10 pk. © 2012 The Authors.

Pagani C.,University of Leicester | Beardmore A.P.,University of Leicester | Abbey A.F.,University of Leicester | Mountford C.,University of Leicester | And 13 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

The X-ray telescope on board the Swift satellite for gamma-ray burst astronomy has been exposed to the radiation of the space environment since launch in November 2004. Radiation causes damage to the detector, with the generation of dark current and charge trapping sites that result in the degradation of the spectral resolution and an increase of the instrumental background. The Swift team has a dedicated calibration program with the goal of recovering a significant proportion of the lost spectroscopic performance. Calibration observations of supernova remnants with strong emission lines are analysed to map the detector charge traps and to derive position-dependent corrections to the measured photon energies. We have achieved a substantial recovery in the XRT resolution by implementing these corrections in an updated version of the Swift XRT gain file and in corresponding improvements to the Swift XRT HEAsoft software. We provide illustrations of the impact of the enhanced energy resolution, and show that we have recovered most of the spectral resolution lost since launch. © 2011 ESO.

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