SCIENTIA SINICA Physica, Mechanica & Astronomica, Volume 48, Issue 3: 039507(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/SSPMA2017-00264

Special gamma-ray bursts and special radiation components from gamma-ray bursts

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  • ReceivedSep 20, 2017
  • AcceptedNov 3, 2017
  • PublishedJan 26, 2018
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Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) were first detected in 1960s. Since then, GRBs have been observed extensively in gamma-rays. The afterglows of several hundred GRBs were also detected, providing us with abundant clues for understanding the physics of GRBs. However, X-ray observations of GRBs at the prompt burst phase are still quite lacking. These very early X-ray observations should be very important for probing the activities of GRB central engines. The Einstein Probe, a unique satellite that works mainly in soft X-rays (0.5–4 keV) with a large field of view (1.1 sr), will open up a new window for us to observe the prompt X-ray emission of GRBs. In this article, we review the current status of the studies on some special kinds of GRBs such as those rich in X-rays and those baring special emission components. Especially, we investigate possible contributions of EP to the studies of X-ray flashes (XRFs), low-luminosity GRBs, ultra-long GRBs, and the precursors of GRBs. It is found that: (1) EP is expected to detect about 810 GRB-like events, among which 95% are soft XRFs and only 1% are typical GRBs; (2) EP could detect 0.2–8 low-luminosity GRBs each year (the exact detection rate is strongly dependent on the exact spectral distribution of low luminosity GRBs, which is still largely uncertain currently); (3) EP would detect at least 20–200 ultra-long GRBs each year; (4) EP may be able to detect a lot of GRB precursors (at least 80 events per year), which are still poorly understood. We believe that the EP satellite will lead to encouraging discovers and will deepen our understanding of GRBs in various aspects such as their classifications, their progenitors, the triggering mechanisms and the beaming features, etc. We also note that the EP satellite has great advantages on its wide field of view and good sensitivity, over other similar world-wide instruments. We suggested that the project should be carried out as soon as possible.

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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) (a) Comparison of the light curves of GRB 980329 and XRF 971019. It is seen that the XRF hardly shows emission in gamma-ray band [4]; (b) the probability density distribution of the spectral peak energy Epk in XRF 020903, with the highest probability value being 3.7 keV [5].

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) (a) The peak flux density and the spectral peak energy relation for GRBs observed by HETE-2. The numbers of C-GRBs, XRRs and XRFs in the sample are comparable. (b) The spectra of several XRFs, XRRs and C-GRBs, adapted from ref. [7].

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) The detection rate of low-luminosity GRBs as function of the detector sensitivity (in 0.5–4 keV range). (a) Assume the spectral peak energy follows that of GRB 980425, 122 keV, and the spectral indices below and above the spectral peak energy are −1 and −2.3, respectively. The shaded region accounts for the uncertainty in the luminosity function of low-luminosity GRBs. The red dashed line is the EP sensitivity for 100 s integration time. (b) Assume the spectral peak energy follows GRB 060218, 4.7 keV.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Different classes of GRBs [20].

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) The X-ray light curves of three ultra-long GRBs 101225A, 111209A, and 121027A. For comparison, a tidal disruption event (blue), two low-luminosity GRBs (orange and black), and normal GRBs (dark region) are also shown [20].

  • Figure 6

    The precursor in GRB 041219a [24] (a) Light curve; (b)-(d) spectrum.

  • Table   Detectors that are related to the observations of XRFs




    能段 (keV)


    能量分辨率 (keV@keV)

    流量灵敏度(erg cm−2 s−1)






    138@10.5 keV








    ~8 ×10−9

    1.6 sr





    6.3@5 keV×2


    0.47 cts cm−2 s−1

    0.91 sr





    110@1.5 keV


    2×10−14@104 s







    18@511 keV×12

    121@511 keV×2



    0.74 ph cm2 s−1

    8 sr~4π sr





    1×106@8 keV


    3×10−8@1 s

    1.5×10−10@50 ks

    π sr





    3 @0.1 keV×8


    ~1×10−11@103 s

    1.1 sr





    60@1 keV


    ~1×10−12@103 s


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