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Proceedings Paper

The cosmic gamma-ray bursts and their host galaxies in a cosmological context
Author(s): Stan G. Djorgovski; Shrinivas R. Kulkarni; Dale A. Frail; Fiona A. Harrison; Joshua S. Bloom; Edo Berger; P. A. Price; D. Fox; A. M. Soderberg; Titus J. Galama; D. E. Reichart; Re'em Sari; S. A. Yost; Ashish Mahabal; S. M. Castro; Robert Goodrich; Frederic H. Chaffee
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Paper Abstract

Studies of the cosmic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and their host galaxies are now starting to provide interesting or even unique new insights in observational cosmology. Observed GRB host galaxies have a median magnitude R~25 mag, and show a range of luminosities, morphologies, and star formation rates, with a median redshift z~1. They represent a new way of identifying a population of star-forming galaxies at cosmological redshifts, which is mostly independent of the traditional selection methods. They seem to be broadly similar to the normal field galaxy populations at comparable redshifts and magnitudes, and indicate at most a mild luminosity evolution over the redshift range they probe. Studies of GRB optical afterglows seen in absorption provide a powerful new probe of the ISM in dense, central regions of their host galaxies, which is complementary to the traditional studies using QSO absorption line systems. Some GRB hosts are heavily obscured, and provide a new way to select a population of cosmological sub-mm sources. A census of detected optical tranistents may provide an important new way to constrain the total obscured fraction of star formation over the history of the universe. Finally, detection of GRB afterglows at high redshifts (z>6) may provide a unique way to probe the primordial star formation, massive IMF, early IGM, and chemical enrichment at the end of the cosmic reionization era.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4834, Discoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes II, (13 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457700
Show Author Affiliations
Stan G. Djorgovski, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Dale A. Frail, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Fiona A. Harrison, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Joshua S. Bloom, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Edo Berger, California Institute of Technology (United States)
P. A. Price, California Institute of Technology (United States)
D. Fox, California Institute of Technology (United States)
A. M. Soderberg, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Titus J. Galama, California Institute of Technology (United States)
D. E. Reichart, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Re'em Sari, California Institute of Technology (United States)
S. A. Yost, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Ashish Mahabal, California Institute of Technology (United States)
S. M. Castro, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Robert Goodrich, W.M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Frederic H. Chaffee, W.M. Keck Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4834:
Discoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes II
Puragra Guhathakurta, Editor(s)

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