GRB 011211

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GRB 011211
Other designations GRB 011211
Event type Gamma-ray burst 
Date 11 December 2001 
Duration 270 ±1 second 
Instrument BeppoSAX 
Constellation Crater 
Right ascension 168h 49m 4.8s
Declination −21° 55′ 44.4″[1]
Redshift 2.14 ±0.01 
Total energy output 5×1052 ergs
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GRB 011211 was a gamma-ray burst (GRB) detected on December 11, 2001. A gamma-ray burst is a highly luminous flash associated with an explosion in a distant galaxy and producing gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, and often followed by a longer-lived "afterglow" emitted at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, and radio).


GRB 011211 was detected by the Italian–Dutch X-ray astronomy satellite BeppoSAX on 11 December 2001 at 19:09 UTC.[2] The burst lasted 270 seconds, making it the longest burst that had ever been detected by BeppoSAX up to that point.[3] A spectrum recorded by the Yepun telescope indicated a redshift of z = 2.14.[4]

Supernova relation

A team of researchers at the University of Leicester conducted an analysis of the burst's X-ray afterglow with the XMM-Newton observatory. They found evidence for emission lines of magnesium, silicon, sulphur, and various other chemical elements. This was the first detection of these elements in the spectrum of a GRB.[5] These observations provided strong evidence for a relation between gamma-ray bursts and supernova.[3] However, other astronomers pointed out flaws in the methodology of the Leicester research team, such as the data reduction methods,[6] the low statistical significance of the emission lines,[7] and the low spectral resolution of the instrument used.[8] Despite a follow-up paper from the Leicester team to address these concerns,[9] the findings remained controversial, and GRB 020813 was given the distinction of being the first burst with direct evidence of a supernova relation.[10][11]

Host galaxy

Optical, infrared, and X-ray observations taken by the Hubble Space Telescope between 14 and 59 days after the burst's detection revealed a blue galaxy with an apparent magnitude of 24.95 ± 0.11.[12] Like several other gamma-ray burst hosts, Lyman alpha emission was detected from this galaxy, supporting the theory that the progenitors of gamma-ray burst tend to be metal-poor.[13]


  1. ^ Gandolfi, Giangiacomo (12 December 2001). "GRB011211(=XRF011211): BeppoSAX refined positions". GCN Circulars. 1189: 1. Bibcode:2001GCN..1189....1G.
  2. ^ Gandolfi, Giangiacomo (12 December 2001). "BeppoSAX Alert: GRB011211(=XRF011211)". GCN Circulars. 1188: 1. Bibcode:2001GCN..1188....1G.
  3. ^ a b Reeves, J. N.; et al. (4 April 2002). "The signature of supernova ejecta measured in the X-ray afterglow of the Gamma Ray Burst 011211" (PDF). Nature. 416 (6880): 512&ndash, 515. arXiv:astro-ph/0204075. Bibcode:2002Natur.416..512R. doi:10.1038/416512a. PMID 11932738. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-18.
  4. ^ Fruchter, Andrew S. (13 December 2001). "GRB 011211: Optical Spectroscopy". GCN Circulars. 1200: 1. Bibcode:2001GCN..1200....1F.
  5. ^ Osborne, Julian (5 April 2002). "XMM observation of gamma ray burst shows supernova connection". University of Leicester. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  6. ^ Borozdin, Konstantin N.; Trudolyubov, Sergey P. (1 February 2003). "Observations of the X-Ray Afterglows of GRB 011211 and GRB 001025 by XMM-Newton". The Astrophysical Journal. 583 (2): L57&ndash, L61. arXiv:astro-ph/0205208. Bibcode:2003ApJ...583L..57B. doi:10.1086/368102.
  7. ^ Rutledge, Robert E.; Sako, Masao (20 February 2003). "Statistical Re-examination of Reported Emission Lines in the X-ray Afterglow of GRB 011211". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 339 (3): 600&ndash, 606. arXiv:astro-ph/0206073. Bibcode:2003MNRAS.339..600R. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06051.x.
  8. ^ Butler, Nathaniel R.; et al. (10 November 2003). "The X-ray Afterglows of GRB 020813 and GRB 021004 with CHANDRA HETGS: Possible Evidence for a Supernova Prior to GRB 020813" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 597 (2): 1010&ndash, 1016. arXiv:astro-ph/0303539. Bibcode:2003ApJ...597.1010B. doi:10.1086/378511.
  9. ^ Reeves, J. N.; et al. (4 May 2003). "Soft X-ray emission lines in the afterglow spectrum of GRB 011211: A detailed XMM-Newton analysis". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 403 (2): 463&ndash, 472. arXiv:astro-ph/0206480. Bibcode:2003A&A...403..463R. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20030204.
  10. ^ "Cosmic Forensics Confirms Gamma-Ray Burst And Supernova Connection" (Press release). NASA. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  11. ^ Fazekas, Andrew (2 April 2003). "Supernova is 'smoking gun' in gamma-ray-burst whodunit". Astronomy. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  12. ^ Jakobsson, P.; et al. (10 July 2003). "The Afterglow and Host Galaxy of GRB 011211". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 408 (3): 941&ndash, 947. arXiv:astro-ph/0307222. Bibcode:2003A&A...408..941J. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031044.
  13. ^ Fynbo, J. P. U.; et al. (19 June 2003). "On the Ly α emission from gamma-ray burst host galaxies: Evidence for low metallicities". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 406 (3): L63&ndash, L66. arXiv:astro-ph/0306403. Bibcode:2003A&A...406L..63F. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20030931.
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