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Hubble Space Telescope STIS Observations of GRB 000301C: CCD Imaging and Near-Ultraviolet MAMA Spectroscopy

Smette, Alain and Fruchter, Andrew S. and Gull, Theodore R. and Sahu, Kailash C. and Petro, Larry and Ferguson, Henry and Rhoads, James and Lindler, Don J. and Gibbons, Rachel and Hogg, David W. and Kouveliotou, Chryssa and Livio, Mario and Macchetto, Duccio and Metzger, Mark R. and Pedersen, Holger and Pian, Elena and Thorsett, Stephen E. and Wijers, Ralph A. M. J. and Fynbo, Johan P. U. and Gorosabel, Javier and Hjorth, Jens and Jensen, Brian L. and Levine, Alan and Smith, Donald A. and Cline, Tom and Hurley, Kevin and Trombka, Jack (2001) Hubble Space Telescope STIS Observations of GRB 000301C: CCD Imaging and Near-Ultraviolet MAMA Spectroscopy. Astrophysical Journal, 556 (1). pp. 70-76. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/321585.

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We present Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph observations of the optical transient (OT) counterpart of the γ-ray burster GRB 000301C obtained 5 days after the burst, on 2000 March 6. CCD clear-aperture imaging reveals a R ≃ 21.50 ± 0.15 source with no apparent host galaxy. An 8000 s, 1150 Å < λ < 3300 Å near-ultraviolet MAMA prism spectrum shows a flat or slightly rising continuum (in f_λ) between 2800 and 3300 Å, with a mean flux of (8.7^(+0.8)_(-1.6) ± 2.6) × 10^(-18) ergs s^(-1) cm^(-2)Å^(-1), and a sharp break centered at 2797 ± 25 Å. We interpret this as the H I Lyman break at z = 2.067 ± 0.025, indicating the presence of a cloud with an H I column density log N_(H I(cm^2) > 18 on the line of sight to the OT. This measured redshift is conservatively a lower limit to the GRB redshift. However, as all other GRBs that have deep Hubble Space Telescope images appear to lie on the stellar field of a host galaxy, and as the large H I column density measured here and in later ground-based observations is unlikely on a random line of sight, we believe we are probably seeing absorption from H I in the host galaxy. In any case, this represents the largest direct redshift determination of a γ-ray burster to date. Our data are compatible with an OT spectrum represented by a power law with an intrinsic index α = 1.2 (f_ν ∝ ν^(-α)) and no extinction in the host galaxy, or with α = 0.5 and extinction by SMC-like dust in the OT rest frame with A_V = 0.15. The large N_(H I) and the lack of a detected host are similar to the situation for damped Lyα absorbers at z > 2.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Sahu, Kailash C.0000-0001-6008-1955
Ferguson, Henry0000-0001-7113-2738
Rhoads, James0000-0002-1501-454X
Hogg, David W.0000-0003-2866-9403
Kouveliotou, Chryssa0000-0003-1443-593X
Fynbo, Johan P. U.0000-0002-8149-8298
Hjorth, Jens0000-0002-4571-2306
Additional Information:© 2001 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2000 July 14; accepted 2001 March 9. Based on observations 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. This work was supported in part by NASA through STIS GTO funding, by STScI GO funding under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, and by the Danish Natural Research Council (SNF). K. H. is grateful for Ulysses support under JPL contract 958056, and for NEAR support under NAG 5-9503 and NAG 5-3500.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Danish Natural Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
NASANAG 5-9503
NASANAG 5-3500
Subject Keywords:gamma rays: bursts
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190611-081842728
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alain Smette et al 2001 ApJ 556 70
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96266
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Jun 2019 16:19
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:19

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