Context. At low redshift, a handful of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been discovered with luminosities that are substantially lower (L-iso less than or similar to 10(48.5) erg s(-1)) than the average of more distant ones (L-iso greater than or similar to 10(49.5) erg s(-1)). It has been suggested that the properties of several low-luminosity (low-L) GRBs are due to shock break-out, as opposed to the emission from ultrarelativistic jets. This has led to much debate about how the populations are connected. Aims. The burst at redshift z = 0.283 from 2012 April 22 is one of the very few examples of intermediate-L GRBs with a gamma-ray luminosity of L-iso similar to 10(49.6-49.9) erg s(-1) that have been detected up to now. With the robust detection of its accompanying supernova SN 2012bz, it has the potential to answer important questions on the origin of low-and high-L GRBs and the GRB-SN connection. Methods. We carried out a spectroscopy campaign using medium-and low-resolution spectrographs with 6-10-m class telescopes, which covered a time span of 37.3 days, and a multi-wavelength imaging campaign, which ranged from radio to X-ray energies over a duration of similar to 270 days. Furthermore, we used a tuneable filter that is centred at H alpha to map star-formation in the host and the surrounding galaxies. We used these data to extract and model the properties of different radiation components and fitted the spectral energy distribution to extract the properties of the host galaxy. Results. Modelling the light curve and spectral energy distribution from the radio to the X-rays revealed that the blast wave expanded with an initial Lorentz factor of Gamma(0) similar to 50, which is a low value in comparison to high-L GRBs, and that the afterglow had an exceptionally low peak luminosity density of less than or similar to 2 x 10(30) erg s(-1) Hz(-1) in the sub-mm. Because of the weak afterglow component, we were able to recover the signature of a shock break-out in an event that was not a genuine low-L GRB for the first time. At 1.4 hr after the burst, the stellar envelope had a blackbody temperature of k(B)T similar to 16 eV and a radius of similar to 7 x 10(13) cm (both in the observer frame). The accompanying SN 2012bz reached a peak luminosity of M-V = -19.7 mag, which is 0.3 mag more luminous than SN 1998bw. The synthesised nickel mass of 0.58 M-circle dot, ejecta mass of 5.87 M-circle dot, and kinetic energy of 4.10x10(52) erg were among the highest for GRB-SNe, which makes it the most luminous spectroscopically confirmed SN to date. Nebular emission lines at the GRB location were visible, which extend from the galaxy nucleus to the explosion site. The host and the explosion site had close-to-solar metallicity. The burst occurred in an isolated star-forming region with an SFR that is 1/10 of that in the galaxy's nucleus. Conclusions. While the prompt gamma-ray emission points to a high-L GRB, the weak afterglow and the low Gamma(0) were very atypical for such a burst. Moreover, the detection of the shock break-out signature is a new quality for high-L GRBs. So far, shock break-outs were exclusively detected for low-L GRBs, while GRB 120422A had an intermediate L-iso of similar to 10(49.6-49.9) erg s(-1). Therefore, we conclude that GRB 120422A was a transition object between low-and high-L GRBs, which supports the failed-jet model that connects low-L GRBs that are driven by shock break-outs and high-L GRBs that are powered by ultra-relativistic jets.
2014. Vol. 566, A102
gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 120422A, supernovae: individual: SN 2012bz, dust, extinction, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: individual: GRB 120422A