X-Ray Afterglows of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts: Magnetar or Fireball?

Nikhil Sarin, Paul D. Lasky, Greg Ashton

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The origin of the X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts has regularly been debated. We fit both the fireball-shock and millisecond-magnetar models of gamma-ray bursts to the X-ray data of GRB 130603B and 140903A. We use Bayesian model selection to answer the question of which model best explains the data. This is dependent on the maximum allowed non-rotating neutron star mass M TOV , which depends solely on the unknown nuclear equation of state. We show that the data for GRB 140903A favors the millisecond-magnetar model for all possible equations of state, while the data for GRB 130603B favors the millisecond-magnetar model if M TOV 2.3 M o . If M TOV ≲ 2.3 M o , the data for GRB 130603B supports the fireball-shock model. We discuss implications of this result in regards to the nuclear equation of state and the prospect of gravitational-wave emission from newly born millisecond magnetars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Number of pages6
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019


  • gamma-ray burst: individual (GRB 140903A
  • GRB 130603B)
  • stars: magnetars

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