GRB 031203

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GRB 031203
Other designations GRB 031203
Event type Gamma-ray burst Edit this on Wikidata
Constellation Puppis Edit this on Wikidata

GRB 031203 was a gamma-ray burst (GRB) detected on December 3, 2003. 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 031203 was detected by INTEGRAL on December 3, 2003, at 22:01:28 UTC. The burst lasted 20 seconds[1] and was located at a sky position of 08h 02m 30.20s and −39° 51′ 03.90″.[2] The burst's afterglow was detected in optical wavelengths by the Mercator Telescope,[3] radio wavelengths by the Very Large Array,[4] and X-ray wavelengths by the XMM-Newton satellite.[5]

X-ray halo[edit]

Observations of the detection region were made by XMM-Newton starting 6 hours after the burst was detected. The X-ray afterglow of the burst was surrounded by two concentric rings which increased in size as time elapsed. This was the first X-ray halo that had ever been observed around a gamma-ray burst.[5] The rings were caused by light being scattered off of columns of dust between the gamma-ray burst and the detector.[5]


At a redshift of z = 0.105,[6] GRB 031203 was both the closest and faintest gamma-ray burst that had ever been observed.[2] It was about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth.[7] Gamma-ray bursts, which generally emit roughly the same amount of energy, had previously been treated as standard candles. However, GRB 031203 and the earlier GRB 980425 were notable exceptions to the standard candle model due to their low energy output.[8] This led some researchers to believe that GRB 031203 may have been an X-ray flash,[9] viewed off-axis,[10] or a member of a previously unknown population of nearby faint bursts.[2]


  1. ^ Gotz, Diego (December 3, 2003). "GRB 031203: A long GRB detected with INTEGRAL". GCN Circulars. 2459: 1. Bibcode:2003GCN..2459....1G. 
  2. ^ a b c "Chandra Contributes to ESA's Integral Detection of Closest Gamma-Ray Burst" (Press release). NASA. August 4, 2004. Archived from the original on May 15, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Bourban, Gerald (December 4, 2003). "GRB031203: Optical Observations". GCN Circulars. 2465: 1. Bibcode:2003GCN..2465....1B. 
  4. ^ Frail, Dale (December 6, 2003). "GRB 031203: Radio detection". GCN Circulars. 2473: 1. Bibcode:2003GCN..2473....1F. 
  5. ^ a b c Vaughan, S.; et al. (March 1, 2004). "The Discovery of an Evolving Dust-scattered X-Ray Halo around GRB 031203". The Astrophysical Journal. 603 (1): L5–L8. Bibcode:2004ApJ...603L...5V. arXiv:astro-ph/0312603Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/382785. 
  6. ^ Soderberg, A. M.; et al. (August 5, 2004). "The sub-energetic gamma-ray burst GRB 031203 as a cosmic analogue to the nearby GRB 980425". Nature. 430 (7000): 648–650. Bibcode:2004Natur.430..648S. PMID 15295592. arXiv:astro-ph/0408096Freely accessible. doi:10.1038/nature02757. 
  7. ^ NASA Features
  8. ^ Dado, Schlomo; Dar, Arnon (July 10, 2005). "The Double-Peak Spectral Energy Density of Gamma-Ray Bursts and the True Identity of GRB 031203". The Astrophysical Journal. 627 (2): L109–L112. Bibcode:2005ApJ...627L.109D. arXiv:astro-ph/0409466Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/432416. 
  9. ^ Watson, D.; et al. (April 20, 2004). "A Very Low Luminosity X-Ray Flash: XMM-Newton Observations of GRB 031203". The Astrophysical Journal. 605 (2): L101–L104. Bibcode:2004ApJ...605L.101W. arXiv:astro-ph/0401225Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/420844. 
  10. ^ Sazonov, S. Yu.; et al. (August 5, 2004). "An apparently normal gamma-ray burst with an unusually low luminosity". Nature. 430 (7000): 646–648. Bibcode:2004Natur.430..646S. PMID 15295591. arXiv:astro-ph/0408095Freely accessible. doi:10.1038/nature02748.