Unveiling the origin of GRB090709A: Lack of periodicity in a reddened cosmological long-duration gamma-ray burst

S. B. Cenko, N. R. Butler, E. O. Ofek, D. A. Perley, A. N. Morgan, D. A. Frail, J. Gorosabel, J. S. Bloom, A. J. Castro-Tirado, J. Cepa, P. Chandra, A. De Ugarte Postigo, A. V. Filippenko, C. R. Klein, S. R. Kulkarni, A. A. Miller, P. E. Nugent, D. L. Starr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We present broadband (gamma-ray, X-ray, near-infrared, optical, and radio) observations of the Swift gamma-ray burst (GRB) 090709A and its afterglow in an effort to ascertain the origin of this high-energy transient. Previous analyses suggested that GRB090709A exhibited quasi-periodic oscillations with a period of 8.06s, a trait unknown in long-duration GRBs but typical of flares from soft gamma-ray repeaters. When properly accounting for the underlying shape of the power-density spectrum of GRB090709A, we find no conclusive (>3σ) evidence for the reported periodicity. In conjunction with the location of the transient (far from the Galactic plane and absent any nearby host galaxy in the local universe) and the evidence for extinction in excess of the Galactic value, we consider a magnetar origin relatively unlikely. A long-duration GRB, however, can account for the majority of the observed properties of this source. GRB090709A is distinguished from other long-duration GRBs primarily by the large amount of obscuration from its host galaxy (AK,obs ≳ 2mag).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma-ray burst: general
  • Stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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