Gamma-ray burst high energy emission from internal shocks

A. Galli, D. Guetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aims. In this paper we study synchrotron and synchrotron self Compton (SSC) emission from internal shocks (IS) during the prompt and X-ray flare phases of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The aim is to test the IS model for the flare emission and for whether GRBs can be GeV sources. Methods. We determine the parameters for which the IS model can account for the observed prompt and X-ray flares emission, and study the detectability of the high energy SSC emission by the AGILE and GLAST satellites. Results. We find that the detectability of the SSC emission during the prompt phase of GRBs improves for higher values of the fireball Lorentz factor and of the temporal variability . If IS is the mechanism responsible for the flare emission, and the Lorentz factor of the shells producing the flare is ~ 100, the flare light curves are expected to present some substructures with temporal variability = 10-100 ms which are much smaller than the average duration of flares, and similar to those observed during the prompt phase of GRBs. If one assumes lower Lorentz factors, such as ~ 10 25, then a larger temporal variability ~ 40 s can also account for the observed flare properties. However in this case we predict that X-ray flares do not have a counterpart at very high energies (MeV-GeV). Conclusions. An investigation on the substructures of the X-ray flare light curves, and simultaneous X-ray and high energy observations, will allow us to corroborate the hypothesis that late IS are responsible for the X-ray flares.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • radiation mechanisms : non-thermal
  • gamma rays : bursts


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