Discovery of the short γ-ray burst GRB 050709

J. S. Villasenor, D. Q. Lamb, G. R. Ricker, J. L. Atteia, N. Kawai, N. Butler, Y. Nakagawa, J. G. Jernigan, M. Boer, G. B. Crew, T. Q. Donaghy, J. Doty, E. E. Fenimore, M. Galassi, C. Graziani, K. Hurley, A. Levine, F. Martel, M. Matsuoka, J. F. OliveG. Prigozhin, T. Sakamoto, Y. Shirasaki, M. Suzuki, T. Tamagawa, R. Vanderspek, S. E. Woosley, A. Yoshida, J. Braga, R. Manchanda, G. Pizzichini, K. Takagishi, M. Yamauchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) fall into two classes: short-hard and long-soft bursts1-3. The latter are now known to have X-ray4 and optical5 afterglows, to occur at cosmological distances6 in star-forming galaxies7, and to be associated with the explosion of massive stars8,9. In contrast, the distance scale, the energy scale and the progenitors of the short bursts have remained a mystery. Here we report the discovery of a short-hard burst whose accurate localization has led to follow-up observations that have identified the X-ray afterglow10 and (for the first time) the optical afterglow10,11 of a short-hard burst; this in turn led to the identification of the host galaxy of the burst as a late-type galaxy at z = 0.16 (ref. 10). These results show that at least some short-hard bursts occur at cosmological distances in the outskirts of galaxies, and are likely to be caused by the merging of compact binaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-858
Number of pages4
Issue number7060
StatePublished - Oct 6 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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