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Properties of a Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxy at z ~ 5

Price, P. A. and Songaila, A. and Cowie, L. L. and Bell Burnell, J. and Berger, E. and Cucchiara, A. and Fox, D. B. and Hook, I. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Penprase, B. and Roth, K. C. and Schmidt, B. (2007) Properties of a Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxy at z ~ 5. Astrophysical Journal, 663 (1). L57-L60. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/520047.

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We describe the properties of the host galaxy of the gamma-ray burst GRB 060510B based on a spectrum of the burst afterglow obtained with the Gemini North 8 m telescope. The galaxy lies at a redshift of z = 4.941, making it the fourth highest spectroscopically identified burst host. However, it is the second highest redshift galaxy for which the quality of the spectrum permits a detailed metallicity analysis. The neutral hydrogen column density has a logarithmic value of 21.0-21.2 cm^-2, and the weak metal lines of Ni, S, and Fe show that the metallicity is in excess of a tenth of solar, which is far above the metallicities in damped Lyα absorbers at high redshift. The tightest constraint is from the Fe lines, which place [Fe/H] in excess of -0.8. We argue that the results suggest that metallicity bias could be a serious obstacle to inferring star formation from the GRB population, and we consider how future higher quality measurements could be used to resolve this issue.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Cowie, L. L.0000-0002-6319-1575
Berger, E.0000-0002-9392-9681
Fox, D. B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Hook, I.0000-0002-2960-978X
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Additional Information:© 2007. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 March 29; accepted 2007 May 22; published 2007 June 18. Print publication: Issue 2 (2007 July 10). These data were obtained at the Gemini Observatory under Program ID GN-2006A-Q-14. We would like to thank Nestor Mirabal for helpful discussions and the Gemini North observing team for carrying out the observations. This work was supported by NSF grants AST04-07374 and AST06-07871, by NASA grants HST-GO-10616.02-A and Swift NN G05 G40G, and by Spitzer contract 1282161.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gemini ObservatoryGN-2006A-Q-14
NASASwift NN G05 G40G
Spitzer Space Telescope1282161
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations; galaxies: abundances; galaxies: distances and redshifts; galaxies: evolution; gamma rays: bursts
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:PRIapjl07
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12971
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:12 Jan 2009 23:58
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:34

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