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Gemini Spectroscopy of the Short-hard Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 130603B Afterglow and Host Galaxy

Cucchiara, A. and Prochaska, J. X. and Perley, D. and Cenko, S. B. and Werk, J. and Cardwell, A. and Turner, J. and Cao, Y. and Bloom, J. S. and Cobb, B. E. (2013) Gemini Spectroscopy of the Short-hard Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 130603B Afterglow and Host Galaxy. Astrophysical Journal, 777 (2). Art. No. 94. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/94.

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We present early optical photometry and spectroscopy of the afterglow and host galaxy of the bright short-duration gamma-ray burst GRB 130603B discovered by the Swift satellite. Using our Target of Opportunity program on the Gemini South telescope, our prompt optical spectra reveal a strong trace from the afterglow superimposed on continuum and emission lines from the z = 0.3568 ± 0.0005 host galaxy. The combination of a relatively bright optical afterglow (r' = 21.52 at Δt = 8.4 hr), together with an observed offset of 0."9 from the host nucleus (4.8 kpc projected distance at z = 0.3568), allow us to extract a relatively clean spectrum dominated by afterglow light. Furthermore, the spatially resolved spectrum allows us to constrain the properties of the explosion site directly, and compare these with the host galaxy nucleus, as well as other short-duration GRB host galaxies. We find that while the host is a relatively luminous (L ≈ 0.8 L^*_B), star-forming (SFR = 1.84 M_☉ yr^(–1)) galaxy with almost solar metallicity, the spectrum of the afterglow exhibits weak Ca II absorption features but negligible emission features. The explosion site therefore lacks evidence of recent star formation, consistent with the relatively long delay time distribution expected in a compact binary merger scenario. The star formation rate (SFR; both in an absolute sense and normalized to the luminosity) and metallicity of the host are both consistent with the known sample of short-duration GRB hosts and with recent results which suggest GRB 130603B emission to be the product of the decay of radioactive species produced during the merging process of a neutron-star-neutron-star binary ("kilonova"). Ultimately, the discovery of more events similar to GRB 130603B and their rapid follow-up from 8 m class telescopes will open new opportunities for our understanding of the final stages of compact-objects binary systems and provide crucial information (redshift, metallicity, and chemical content of their explosion site) to characterize the environment of one of the most promising gravitational wave sources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Prochaska, J. X.0000-0002-7738-6875
Perley, D.0000-0001-8472-1996
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Cao, Y.0000-0002-8036-8491
Bloom, J. S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Alternate Title:Gemini Spectroscopy of the Short GRB 130603B Afterglow and Host
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 June 9; accepted 2013 August 25; published 2013 October 18. A.C. thanks the anonymous referee for the valuable comments and suggestions which have helped significantly to improve the manuscript. A.C., also, thanks D. A. Kann and S. Savaglio for the valuable discussions and comments. Gemini results are based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovaciόn Productiva (Argentina). Partial support for this work was provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-51296.01-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF-51296.01-A
NASANAS 5-26555
Subject Keywords: gamma-ray burst: individual (GRB 130603B); techniques: imaging spectroscopy
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131202-113009718
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Official Citation:Gemini Spectroscopy of the Short-hard Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 130603B Afterglow and Host Galaxy A. Cucchiara et al. 2013 ApJ 777 94
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42772
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:02 Dec 2013 21:03
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:28

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