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A deep survey of short GRB host galaxies over z ∼ 0-2: implications for offsets, redshifts, and environments

O’Connor, B. and Troja, E. and Dichiara, S. and Beniamini, P. and Cenko, S. B. and Kouveliotou, C. and González, J. B. and Durbak, J. and Gatkine, P. and Kutyrev, A. and Sakamoto, T. and Sánchez-Ramírez, R. and Veilleux, S. (2022) A deep survey of short GRB host galaxies over z ∼ 0-2: implications for offsets, redshifts, and environments. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 515 (4). pp. 4890-4928. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac1982.

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A significant fraction (30 per cent) of well-localized short gamma-ray bursts (sGRBs) lack a coincident host galaxy. This leads to two main scenarios: (i) that the progenitor system merged outside of the visible light of its host, or (ii) that the sGRB resided within a faint and distant galaxy that was not detected by follow-up observations. Discriminating between these scenarios has important implications for constraining the formation channels of neutron star mergers, the rate and environments of gravitational wave sources, and the production of heavy elements in the Universe. In this work, we present the results of our observing campaign targeted at 31 sGRBs that lack a putative host galaxy. Our study effectively doubles the sample of well-studied sGRB host galaxies, now totaling 72 events of which 28% lack a coincident host to deep limits (r ≳ 26 or F110W ≳ 27 AB mag), and represents the largest homogeneously selected catalogue of sGRB offsets to date. We find that 70 per cent of sub-arcsecond localized sGRBs occur within 10 kpc of their host’s nucleus, with a median projected physical offset of 5.6 kpc. Using this larger population, we discover an apparent redshift evolution in their locations: bursts at low-z occur at 2 × larger offsets compared to those at z > 0.5. This evolution could be due to a physical evolution of the host galaxies themselves or a bias against faint high-z galaxies. Furthermore, we discover a sample of hostless sGRBs at z ≳ 1 that are indicative of a larger high-z population, constraining the redshift distribution and disfavoring lognormal delay time models.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription article
O’Connor, B.0000-0002-9700-0036
Troja, E.0000-0002-1869-7817
Dichiara, S.0000-0001-6849-1270
Beniamini, P.0000-0001-7833-1043
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Kouveliotou, C.0000-0003-1443-593X
González, J. B.0000-0002-6729-9022
Gatkine, P.0000-0002-1955-2230
Kutyrev, A.0000-0002-2715-8460
Sakamoto, T.0000-0001-6276-6616
Veilleux, S.0000-0002-3158-6820
Additional Information:The authors would like to thank the reviewer for their thoughtful feedback on the manuscript. BO acknowledges useful discussions with Phil Evans and Geoffrey Ryan. BO thanks Amy Gottlieb for assistance in obtaining LDT observations. BO was partially supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through grants NNX16AB66G, NNX17AB18G, and 80NSSC20K0389, through Chandra Award Numbers GO021065A, GO021062A, and GO122068X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060, and by the National Science Foundation through grant no. 12850. PB’s research was supported by a grant (no. 2020747) from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel. JBG acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) through the Spanish State Research Agency, under Severo Ochoa Program 2020-2023 (CEX2019-000920-S). This project hasreceived funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant 101002761 (BHianca; PI: Troja). RSR acknowledges support under the CSIC-MURALES project with reference 20215AT009 and from the State Agency for Research of the Spanish MCIU through the Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa award to the Instituto de Astrof´ısica de Andaluc´ıa (SEV-2017-0709). This work made use of data supplied by the UK Swift Science Data Centre at the University of Leicester. This research has made use of the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA), which is operated by the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI), under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Based on observations obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s OIR Lab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf ofthe Gemini Observatory partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigacion´ y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnolog´ıa e Innovacion´ (Argentina), Ministerio ´ da Ciencia, ˆ Tecnologia, Inovac¸oes ˜ e Comunicac¸oes ˜ (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea). The HST data (ObsID: 14685) used in this work was obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts. These results also made use of Lowell Observatory’s Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT), formerly the Discovery Channel Telescope. Lowell operates the LDT in partnership with Boston University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Toledo. Partial support of the LDT was provided by Discovery Communications. LMI was built by Lowell Observatory using funds from the National Science Foundation (AST-1005313). This paper makes use of data obtained fromthe Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes Archive which is maintained as part of the CASU Astronomical Data Centre at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. This work is based on data from the GTC Public Archive at CAB (INTA-CSIC), developed in the framework of the Spanish Virtual Observatory project supported by the Spanish MINECO through grants AYA 2011-24052 and AYA 2014-55216. The system is maintained by the Data Archive Unit of the CAB (INTA-CSIC). Based on observations made with the Liverpool Telescope operated on the island of La Palma by LiverpoolJohn Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Additionally, this work is based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility. We additionally made use of Astropy, a community-developed core PYTHON package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration 2018).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNNX16AB66G
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNNX17AB18G
National Aeronautics and Space Administration80NSSC20K0389
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGO021065A
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGO021062A
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGO122068X
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNAS8-03060
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNAS5-26555
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNNX09AF08G
Smithsonian Astrophysical ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
National Science Foundation12850
National Science Foundation2020747
National Science FoundationAST-1005313
United States - Israel Binational Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Spanish Ministry of Science and InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Spanish State Research AgencyCEX2019-000920-S
European Research Council101002761
University of LeicesterUNSPECIFIED
National Research Council CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e ComunicaçõesUNSPECIFIED
Korea Astronomy and Space Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Boston UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Northern Arizona UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
University of ToledoUNSPECIFIED
Discovery CommunicationsUNSPECIFIED
MINECOAYA 2011-24052
MINECOAYA 2014-55216
Liverpool John Moores UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220906-252638000
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116724
Deposited By: Olivia Warschaw
Deposited On:07 Sep 2022 22:49
Last Modified:07 Sep 2022 22:49

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