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The Optically Unbiased GRB Host (TOUGH) Survey. VII. The Host Galaxy Luminosity Function: Probing the Relationship between GRBs and Star Formation to Redshift ~ 6

Schulze, S. and Chapman, R. and Hjorth, J. and Levan, A. J. and Jakobsson, P. and Björnsson, G. and Perley, D. A. and Krühler, T. and Gorosabel, J. and Tanvir, N. R. and de Ugarte Postigo, A. and Fynbo, J. P. U. and Milvang-Jensen, B. and Møller, P. and Watson, D. J. (2015) The Optically Unbiased GRB Host (TOUGH) Survey. VII. The Host Galaxy Luminosity Function: Probing the Relationship between GRBs and Star Formation to Redshift ~ 6. Astrophysical Journal, 808 (1). Art. No. 73. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) offer a route to characterizing star-forming galaxies and quantifying high-z star formation that is distinct from the approach of traditional galaxy surveys: GRB selection is independent of dust and probes even the faintest galaxies which can evade detection in flux-limited surveys. However, the exact relation between the GRB rate and the star formation rate (SFR) throughout all redshifts is controversial. The Optically Unbiased GRB Host (TOUGH) survey includes observations of all GRB hosts (69) in an optically unbiased sample of Swift GRBs; we utilize these to constrain the evolution of the UV GRB-host-galaxy luminosity function (LF) between z = 0 and z = 4.5, and compare this with LFs derived from both Lyman-break galaxy (LBG) surveys and simulation modeling. At all redshifts we find the GRB hosts to be most consistent with an LF derived from SFR weighted models incorporating GRB production via both metallicity-dependent and independent channels with a relatively high level of bias toward low metallicity hosts. In the range 1 < z < 3 an SFR weighted LBG derived (i.e., non-metallicity biased) LF is also a reasonable fit to the data. Between z ~ 3 and z ~ 6, we observe an apparent lack of UV bright hosts in comparison with LBGs, though the significance of this shortfall is limited by nine hosts of unknown redshift.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Schulze, S.0000-0001-6797-1889
Hjorth, J.0000-0002-4571-2306
Perley, D. A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Fynbo, J. P. U.0000-0002-8149-8298
Milvang-Jensen, B.0000-0002-2281-2785
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 March 13; accepted 2015 June 3; published 2015 July 17. We thank the referee for a careful reading of the manuscript and for helpful comments that improved this paper. We acknowledge with sadness the recent unexpected passing of our colleague and co-author Javier Gorosabel. His support of and contributions to this work and astronomy in general are greatly appreciated. We thank Stephanie Courty and Daniele Malesani for fruitful discussions. We also thank Daniele Malesani for kindly providing the TNG data and Michele Trenti for providing the parameterization of the spectral slope. S. Schulze acknowledges support from CONICYT-Chile FONDECYT 3140534, Basal-CATA PFB-06/2007, and Project IC120009 "Millennium Institute of Astrophysics (MAS) of Iniciativa Científica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo, by a Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund, and from the University of Iceland Research Fund. R.C. is grateful to the University of Hertfordshire for travel support. The research activity of AdUP and J.G. is supported by Spanish research project AYA2012-39362-C02-02. AdUP acknowledges support by the European Commission under the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant program (FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG 322307). The Dark Cosmology Centre is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant agreement no. EGGS-278202. This research has made use of the GHostS database (, which is partly funded by Spitzer/NASA grant RSA Agreement No. 1287913. Based in part on observations collected with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, as part of the programs 11734, 12307, 11734, with the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a co-operative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership, as part of the programs GS-2007B-Q-1, GS-2013B-Q-69, and GS-2014A-Q-6, the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma, with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias as part of the programs A22TAC-107, with the 2.2-m MPG telescope on La Silla as part of the program CN2014B-102, and with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA, as part of the program 57753, Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. Part of the funding for GROND was generously granted from the Leibniz-Prize to Prof. G. Hasinger (DFG grant HA 1850/28-1). Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)3140534
Iniciativa Científica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y TurismoIC120009
Icelandic Research FundUNSPECIFIED
University of Iceland Research FundUNSPECIFIED
University of HertfordshireUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)AYA2012-39362-C02-02
Marie Curie FellowshipFP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG 322307
Danish National Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)EGGS-278202
NASANAS 5-26555
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)HA 1850/28-1
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; galaxies: star formation; gamma-ray burst: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150828-090816676
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Optically Unbiased GRB Host (TOUGH) Survey. VII. The Host Galaxy Luminosity Function: Probing the Relationship between GRBs and Star Formation to Redshift ~ 6 S. Schulze et al. 2015 ApJ 808 73
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59946
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:01 Sep 2015 17:23
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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