GRB 180418A: a possibly short gamma-ray burst with a wide-angle outflow in a faint host galaxy

A. Rouco Escorial, W. Fong, P. Veres, T. Laskar, A. Lien, K. Paterson, M. Lally, P. K. Blanchard, A. E. Nugent, N. R. Tanvir, D. Cornish, E. Berger, E. Burns, S. B. Cenko, B. E. Cobb, A. Cucchiara, A. Goldstein, R. Margutti, B. D. Metzger, P. MilneA. Levan, M. Nicholl, Nathan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We present X-ray and multiband optical observations of the afterglow and host galaxy of GRB 180418A, discovered by Swift/BAT and Fermi/GBM. We present a reanalysis of the GBM and BAT data deriving durations of the prompt emission of T90 ≈ 2.56 and 1.90 s, respectively. Modeling the Fermi/GBM catalog of 1405 bursts (2008–2014) in the hardness–T90 plane, we obtain a probability of ≈60% that GRB 180418A is a short-hard burst. From a combination of Swift/XRT and Chandra observations, the X-ray afterglow is detected to ≈38.5 days after the burst and exhibits a single power-law decline with FX ∝ t−0.98. Late-time Gemini observations reveal a faint r ≈ 25.69 mag host galaxy at an angular offset of ≈0farcs16. At the likely redshift range of z ≈ 1–2.25, we find that the X-ray afterglow luminosity of GRB 180418A is intermediate between short and long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) at all epochs during which there are contemporaneous data and that GRB 180418A lies closer to the Eγ,peak–Eγ,iso correlation for short GRBs. Modeling the multiwavelength afterglow with the standard synchrotron model, we derive the burst explosion properties and find a jet opening angle of θj ≳ 9°–14°. If GRB 180418A is a short GRB that originated from a neutron star merger, it has one of the brightest and longest-lived afterglows along with an extremely faint host galaxy. If, instead, the event is a long GRB that originated from a massive star collapse, it has among the lowest-luminosity afterglows and lies in a peculiar space in terms of the hardness–T90 and Eγ,peak–Eγ,iso planes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Number of pages19
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma-ray transient sources
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • 1853
  • 629
  • Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena


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