GRB 060218

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GRB 060218/SN 2006aj
143481main oddball grb 500.jpg
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Supernova type Ibn
Remnant type Unknown
Host galaxy SDSS J032139.68+165201.7
Constellation Aries
Right ascension 03h 21m 39.71s
Declination +16° 52′ 02.6″
Galactic coordinates 166.9257 -32.8802
Discovery date February 18, 2006
Peak magnitude (V) ca 17.8 (February 23)
Redshift z=0.03342
Distance 440,000,000 ly
Physical characteristics
Progenitor Unknown
Progenitor type Unknown
Colour (B-V) Unknown
Notable features Rare GRB+SN sequence.

GRB 060218 (and SN 2006aj) was a gamma-ray burst (abbreviated as GRB) with unusual characteristics never seen before. This GRB was detected by the Swift satellite on February 18, 2006, and its name is derived from the date. It was located in the constellation Aries.

GRB 060218's duration (almost 2000 seconds) and its origin in a galaxy 440 million light years away are far longer and closer, respectively, than typical gamma-ray bursts seen before, and the burst was also considerably dimmer than average despite its close distance.

As of February 2006, the phenomenon was not yet well understood. However, an optical afterglow to the gamma-ray burst has been detected and is brightening, and some scientists believe that the appearance of a supernova (SN 2006aj) may be ongoing.

Four different groups of researchers, led by Sergio Campana, Elena Pian, Alicia Soderberg, Paolo Mazzali respectively, carried out the investigation of the phenomenon and presented their results in Nature magazine on August 31, 2006[1] They found the strongest evidence yet that supernovas and GRBs might be linked, because GRB 060218 showed signs of both the GRB and the supernova. The exploding star is believed to have had the boundary mass (about 20 Solar masses) for supernovas to leave either a black hole or a neutron star after its explosion.[2]


  1. ^ "X-rated supernova". Nature. Retrieved 2006-08-31. 
  2. ^ "Strange Exploding Star Unlocks Supernova Secrets". Retrieved 2006-08-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 03h 21m 39.71s, +16° 52′ 02.6″

Preceded by
Longest gamma-ray burst
2006 – 2011
Succeeded by
GRB 110328A