Constraining the energy budget of GRB 080721
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This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2009 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
We follow the bright, highly energetic afterglow of Swift-discovered GRB 080721 at z= 2.591 out to 36 d or 3 × 10(6) s since the trigger in the optical and X-ray bands. We do not detect a break in the late-time light curve inferring a limit on the opening angle of [graphic] and setting tight constraints on the total energy budget of the burst of Eγ≥ 9.9 × 10(51) erg within the fireball model. To obey the fireball model closure relations, the gamma-ray burst (GRB) jet must be expanding into a homogeneous surrounding medium and likely lies behind a significant column of dust. The energy constraint we derive can be used as an observational input for models of the progenitors of long GRBs: we discuss how such high collimation-corrected energies could be accommodated with certain parameters of the standard massive star core-collapse models. We can, however, most probably rule out a magnetar progenitor for this GRB which would require 100 per cent efficiency to reach the observed total energy.
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