Relativistic jets and long-duration gamma-ray bursts from the birth of magnetars

N. Bucciantini, E. Quataert, J. Arons, B. D. Metzger, T. A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

108 Scopus citations


We present time-dependent axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the interaction of a relativistic magnetized wind produced by a proto-magnetar with a surrounding stellar envelope, in the first ~10 s after core collapse. We inject a super-magnetosonic wind with Ė = 1051 erg s-1 into a cavity created by an outgoing supernova shock. A strong toroidal magnetic field builds up in the bubble of plasma and magnetic field that is at first inertially confined by the progenitor star. This drives a jet out along the polar axis of the star, even though the star and the magnetar wind are each spherically symmetric. The jet has the properties needed to produce a long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB). At ~5 s after core bounce, the jet has escaped the host star and the Lorentz factor of the material in the jet at large radii ~1011 cm is similar to that in the magnetar wind near the source. Most of the spindown power of the central magnetar escapes via the relativistic jet. There are fluctuations in the Lorentz factor and energy flux in the jet on a ~ 0.01-0.1 s time-scale. These may contribute to variability in GRB emission (e.g. via internal shocks).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L25-L29
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Gamma-rays: bursts
  • MHD
  • Magnetic fields
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: winds, outflows
  • Supernovae: general


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