A Jet Model for the Afterglow Emission from GRB 000301C


We present broadband radio observations of the afterglow of GRB 000301C, spanning from 1.4 to 350 GHz for the period of 3-130 days after the burst. These radio data, in addition to measurements in the optical bands, suggest that the afterglow arises from a collimated outflow, i.e., a jet. To test this hypothesis in a self-consistent manner, we employ a global fit and find that a model of a jet expanding into a constant-density interstellar medium (ISM+jet) provides the best fit to the data. A model of the burst occurring in a wind-shaped circumburst medium (wind- only model) can be ruled out, and a wind+jet model provides a much poorer fit of the optical/IR data than the ISM+jet model. In addition, we present the first clear indication that the reported fluctuations in the optical/IR are achromatic, with similar amplitudes in all bands, and possibly extend into the radio regime. Using the parameters derived from the global fit, in particular a jet break time t$_jet$åisebox-0.5ex 7.3 days, we infer a jet opening angle of þeta$_0$i̊sebox-0.5ex 0.2 rad; consequently, the estimate of the emitted energy in the GRB itself is reduced by a factor of 50 relative to the isotropic value, giving Ers̊ebox-0.5ex 1.1×10$^51$ ergs.

Astrophysical Journal