Open main menu

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/SN 2006aj
143481main oddball grb 500.jpg
Other designationsSN 2006aj, GRB 060218, GRB 060218A
Event typeGamma-ray burst edit this on wikidata
Spectral classIc
DateFebruary 18, 2006
Right ascension03h 21m 39.71s
Declination+16° 52′ 02.6″
Galactic coordinates166.9257 -32.8802
Distance440,000,000 ly
HostSDSS J032139.68+165201.7
Progenitor typeUnknown
Colour (B-V)Unknown
Notable featuresRare GRB+SN sequence.
Peak apparent magnitudeca 17.8 (February 23)

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 and Paolo Mazzali respectively, carried out the investigation of the phenomenon and presented their results in Nature on August 31, 2006.[1] They found the strongest evidence yet that supernovae 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 supernovae 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 linksEdit