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Identification of a host galaxy at redshift z = 3.42 for the big γ-ray burst of 14 December 1997

Kulkarni, S. R. and Djorgovski, S. G. and Ramaprakash, A. N. and Goodrich, R. and Bloom, J. S. and Adelberger, K. L. and Kundic, T. and Lubin, L. and Frail, D. A. and Frontera, F. and Feroci, M. and Nicastro, L. and Barth, A. J. and Davis, M. and Filippenko, A. V. and Newman, J. (1998) Identification of a host galaxy at redshift z = 3.42 for the big γ-ray burst of 14 December 1997. Nature, 393 (6680). pp. 35-39. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/29927.

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Knowledge of the properties of γ-ray bursts has increased substantially following recent detections of counterparts at X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths. But the nature of the underlying physical mechanism that powers these sources remains unclear. In this context, an important question is the total energy in the burst, for which an accurate estimate of the distance is required. Possible host galaxies have been identified for the first two optical counterparts discovered, and a lower limit obtained for the redshift of one of them, indicating that the bursts lie at cosmological distances. A host galaxy of the third optically detected burst has now been identified and its redshift determined to be z = 3.42. When combined with the measured flux of γ-rays from the burst, this large redshift implies an energy of 3 10^(53) erg in the γ-rays alone, if the emission is isotropic. This is much larger than the energies hitherto considered, and it poses a challenge for theoretical models of the bursts.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Djorgovski, S. G.0000-0002-0603-3087
Bloom, J. S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Barth, A. J.0000-0002-3026-0562
Filippenko, A. V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Additional Information:© 1998 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Received 18 March; accepted 14 April 1998. The observations reported here were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the California Association for Research in Astronomy, a scientific partnership among California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA. It was made possible by the financial support from W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank W. Sargent, Director of the Palomar Observatory, F. Chaffee, Director of the Keck Observatory and our colleagues for continued support of our GRB program. We thank J. C. Clemens and M. H. van Kerkwijk for help with observations and exchange of dark time. S.R.K.’s research is supported by the NSF and NASA. S.G.D. acknowledges partial support from the Bressler Foundation. A.N.R. is grateful to the International Astronomical Union for a travel grant.
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W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Bressler FoundationUNSPECIFIED
International Astronomical UnionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6680
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150617-154004613
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ID Code:58336
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jun 2015 01:16
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:03

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