Microsecond flares in gamma-ray bursts

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It has been suggested that gamma-ray burst light curves may consist of many superposed flares with a duration shorter than 30 μs. If true, the implications for the interpretation of burst data are enormous. With the launch of the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, four predictions of Mitrofanov's suggestion can be tested. Our results which contradict this suggestion are (1) the photon arrival times are not correlated between independent detectors, (2) the spectral hardness and intensity does not depend on the detector area, (3) the bursts seen by detectors which measure photon positions do not see microsecond flares, and (4) burst positions deduced from detectors with different projected areas are close to the positions deduced from time-of-flight differences between separated spacecraft. We conclude, therefore, that gamma-ray bursts are not composed of microsecond flares.

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Astrophysical Journal

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