A very energetic supernova associated with the γ-ray burst of 29 March 2003

Jens Hjorth*, Jesper Sollerman, Palle Møller, Johan P.U. Fynbo, Stan E. Woosley, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Nial R. Tanvir, Jochen Grelner, Michael I. Andersen, Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, José María Castro Cerón, Andrew S. Fruchter, Javier Gorosabel, Páll Jakobsson, Lex Kaper, Sylvio Klose, Nicola Masettl, Holger Pedersen, Kristian Pedersen, Elena PlanEllana Palazzi, James E. Rhoads, Evert Rol, Edward P.J. Van den Heuvel, Paul M. Vreeswljk, Darach Watson, Ralph A.M.J. Wljers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1101 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past five years evidence has mounted that long-duration (>2 s) γ-ray bursts (GRBs)-the most luminous of all astronomical explosions-signal the collapse of massive stars in our Universe. This evidence was originally based on the probable association of one unusual GRB with a supernova, but now includes the association of GRBs with regions of massive star formation in distant galaxies, the appearance of supernova-like 'bumps' in the optical afterglow light curves of several bursts and lines of freshly synthesized elements in the spectra of a few X-ray afterglows. These observations support, but do not yet conclusively demonstrate, the idea that long-duration GRBs are associated with the deaths of massive stars, presumably arising from core collapse. Here we report evidence that a very energetic supernova (a hypernova) was temporally and spatially coincident with a GRB at redshift z = 0.1685. The timing of the supernova indicates that it exploded within a few days of the GRB, strongly suggesting that core-collapse events can give rise to GRBs, thereby favouring the 'collapsar' model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-850
Number of pages4
Issue number6942
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank F. Patat for discussions. This paper is based on observations collected by the Gamma-Ray Burst Collaboration at ESO (GRACE) at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile. We thank the ESO staff at the Paranal Observatory, in particular N. Ageorges, P. Gandhi, S. Hubrig, R. Johnson, C. Ledoux, K. O’Brien, R. Scarpa, T. Szeifert and L. Vanzi, for their help in securing the service mode data reported here. We acknowledge benefits from collaboration within the EU FP5 Research Training Network “Gamma-Ray Bursts: An Enigma and a Tool”. This work was also supported by the Danish Natural Science Research Council (SNF). J.P.U.F. and K.P. acknowledge support from the Carlsberg Foundation.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements P.A.P. and B.P.S. thank the ARC for supporting Australian GRB research. GRB research at Caltech is supported in part by funds from NSF and NASA. We are indebted to S. Barthelmy and the GCN, as well as the HETE-II team for prompt alerts of GRB localizations.


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