Constraining the dark GRB mystery with HETE-2 SXC localizations

J. Villasenor, R. Vanderspek, G. Ricker, N. Butler, G. Crew, A. Dullighan, J. G. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 85% of the long GRBs fully localized by HETEs soft X-ray camera (SXC) have an associated fading optical counterpart, suggesting that we are close to solving the mystery of "dark" bursts. SXC localizations are characterized by small error boxes (∼1 arcmin) sent out within a few hours after the burst. Are there selection effects that may account for this favorable statistic? Examining and comparing the list of SXC detections with the overall HETE sample, we find no spectral differences between the two sets, e.g., the SXC sample spans both X-ray bright and dim bursts similar to the overall HETE sample. SXC localizations, however, have prompted fast, and deep counterpart searches over highly constrained error boxes. A large fraction of optically dark bursts are probably classified as such due to inadequate follow-up observations, and most GRBs should have a detectable optical counterpart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1324
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • GRB
  • HETE
  • Optically dark
  • SXC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Constraining the dark GRB mystery with HETE-2 SXC localizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this