BATSE Observations of Gamma-Ray Burst Spectra. II. Peak Energy Evolution in Bright, Long Bursts

L. A. Ford, D. L. Band, J. L. Matteson, M. S. Briggs, G. N. Pendleton, R. D. Preece, W. S. Paciesas, B. J. Teegarden, D. M. Palmer, B. E. Schaefer, T. L. Cline, G. J. Fishman, C. Kouveliotou, C. A. Meegan, R. B. Wilson, and J. P. Lestrade

We investigate spectral evolution in 37 bright, long gamma-ray bursts observed with the BATSE Spectroscopy Detectors. High resolution spectra are characterized by the energy of the peak of nu-f-nu and the evolution of this quantity is examined relative to the emission intensity. In most cases it is found that this peak energy either rises with or slightly precedes major intensity increases and softens for the remainder of the pulse. Inter-pulse emission is generally harder early in the burst. For bursts with multiple intensity pulses, later spikes tend to be softer than earlier ones indicating that the energy of the peak of nu-f-nu is bounded by an envelope which decays with time. Evidence is found that bursts in which the bulk of the flux comes well after the event which triggers the instrument tend to show less peak energy variability and are not as hard as several bursts in which the emission occurs promptly after the trigger. Several recently proposed burst models are examined in light of these results and no qualitative conflicts with the observations presented here are found.

Last updated May 15, 1995.

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