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New imaging and spectroscopy of the locations of several short-hard gamma-ray bursts

Gal-Yam, Avishay and Nakar, Ehud and Ofek, Eran O. and Cenko, S. B. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Soderberg, A. M. and Harrison, F. A. and Fox, D. B. and Price, P. A. and Penprase, B. E. and Frail, Dale A. and Atteia, J. L. and Berger, E. and Gladders, M. and Mulchaey, J. (2008) New imaging and spectroscopy of the locations of several short-hard gamma-ray bursts. Astrophysical Journal, 686 (1). pp. 408-416. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/590947.

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The detection and characterization of the afterglow emission and host galaxies of short-hard gamma-ray bursts (SHBs) is one of the most exciting recent astronomical discoveries. In particular, indications that SHB progenitors belong to old stellar populations, in contrast to the long-soft GRBs, provide a strong clue about the physical nature of these systems. Definitive conclusions are currently limited by the small number of SHBs with known hosts available for study. Here, we present our investigation of SHBs previously localized by the interplanetary network (IPN). We show that the brightest galaxy within the error box of SHB 000607, at z = 0.1405, is the probable host galaxy of this event, expanding the sample of SHBs with known hosts and distances. We find a spatial association of the bright SHB 790613 and the cataloged position of the rich galaxy cluster Abell 1892. However, we are unable to verify the reality of this cluster via spectroscopy or multicolor imaging, and we conclude that this association may well be spurious. In addition, we rule out the existence of galaxy overdensities (down to ≈21 mag, i.e., ≈0.1 L* at z = 0.2) near the locations of two other SHBs and set a lower limit on their probable redshift. We combine our SHB sample with a complete sample of events discovered by the Swift and HETE-2 missions and investigate the properties of the extended sample. We show that the progenitors of SHBs appear to be older than those of Type Ia SNe, on average, suggesting a typical lifetime of several Gyr. The low typical redshift of SHBs leads to a significant increase in the local SHB rate and bodes well for the detection of gravitational radiation from these events, should they result from compact binary mergers, with forthcoming facilities.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Nakar, Ehud0000-0002-4534-7089
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Harrison, F. A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Fox, D. B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Berger, E.0000-0002-9392-9681
Additional Information:© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2005 November 4; accepted 2008 June 2. Print publication: Issue 1 (2008 October 10). We thank S. Ando, N. Butler, A. Coil, B. Gerke, S. Phinney, and C. Steidel for help and advice. The anonymous referee is thanked for a critical reading of the manuscript that greatly improved it. A. G. acknowledges support by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-01158.01-A awarded by STScI, which is operated by AURA, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. E. N. was supported by a senior research fellowship from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. E. B. acknowledges support by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-01171.01-A awarded by STScI, which is operated by AURA, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. A. M. S. is supported by the NASA Graduate Student Research Program. S. R. K.'s research is supported by NSF and NASA. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the USNOFS Image and Catalogue Archive, operated by the United States Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station (
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF-01158.01-A
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASANAS 5-26555
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:gamma rays: bursts
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090408-083752992
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:New Imaging and Spectroscopy of the Locations of Several Short-Hard Gamma-Ray Bursts Avishay Gal-Yam, Ehud Nakar, Eran O. Ofek, S. B. Cenko, S. R. Kulkarni, A. M. Soderberg, F. Harrison, D. B. Fox, P. A. Price, B. E. Penprase, Dale A. Frail, J. L. Atteia, E. Berger, M. Gladders, and J. Mulchaey 2008 ApJ 686 408-416 doi: 10.1086/590947
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13888
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 22:08
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:41

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