Constraining the energy budget of GRB 080721
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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.
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.
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