The Unusually Long Duration Gamma-ray Burst GRB 000911


Of all the well localized gamma-ray bursts, GRB 000911 has the longest duration (T_90 ~ 500 s), and ranks in the top 1% of BATSE bursts for fluence. Here, we report the discovery of the afterglow of this unique burst. In order to simultaneously fit our radio and optical observations, we are required to invoke a model involving an hard electron distribution, p ~ 1.5 and a jet-break time less than 1.5 day. A spectrum of the host galaxy taken 111 days after the burst reveals a single emission line, interpreted as [OII] at a redshift z = 1.0585, and a continuum break which we interpret as the Balmer limit at this redshift. Despite the long T_90, the afterglow of GRB 000911 is not unusual in any other way when compared to the set of afterglows studied to date. We conclude that the duration of the GRB plays little part in determining the physics of the afterglow.