The Galaxy Hosts And Large-Scale Environments of Short-Hard Gamma-Ray Bursts

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The rapid succession of discovery of short-duration hard-spectrum GRBs has led to unprecedented insights into the energetics of the explosion and nature of the progenitors. Yet short of the detection of a smoking gun, like a burst of coincident gravitational radiation or a Li-Paczynski mini-supernova, it is unlikely that a definitive claim can be made for the progenitors. As was the case with long-duration soft-spectrum GRBs, however, the expectation is that a systematic study of the hosts and the locations of short GRBs could begin to yield fundamental clues about their nature. We present the first aggregate study of the ... continued below

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14 pages

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Prochaska, Jason X.; Bloom, J.S.; Chen, H.-W.; Foley, R.J.; Perley, D.A.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E. et al. October 7, 2005.

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The rapid succession of discovery of short-duration hard-spectrum GRBs has led to unprecedented insights into the energetics of the explosion and nature of the progenitors. Yet short of the detection of a smoking gun, like a burst of coincident gravitational radiation or a Li-Paczynski mini-supernova, it is unlikely that a definitive claim can be made for the progenitors. As was the case with long-duration soft-spectrum GRBs, however, the expectation is that a systematic study of the hosts and the locations of short GRBs could begin to yield fundamental clues about their nature. We present the first aggregate study of the host galaxies of short-duration hard-spectrum GRBs. In particular, we present the Gemini-North and Keck discovery spectra of the galaxies that hosted three short GRBs and a moderate-resolution (R {approx} 6000) spectrum of a fourth host. We find that these short-hard GRBs originate in a variety of low-redshift (z < 1) environments that differ substantially from those of long-soft GRBs, both on individual galaxy scales and on galaxy-cluster scales. Specifically, three of the bursts are found to be associated with old and massive galaxies with no current (< 0.1M{sub {circle_dot}} yr{sup -1}) or recent star formation. Two of these galaxies are located within a cluster environment. These observations support an origin from the merger of compact stellar remnants, such as double neutron stars of a neutron star-black hole binary. The fourth event, in contrast, occurred within a dwarf galaxy with a star formation rate exceeding 0.5 M{sub {circle_dot}} yr{sup -1}. Therefore, it appears that like supernovae of Type Ia, the progenitors of short-hard bursts are created in all galaxy types, suggesting a corresponding class with a wide distribution of delay times between formation and explosion.

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14 pages

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-11517
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • DOI: 10.2172/878089 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 878089
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875340

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  • October 7, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:23 p.m.

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Prochaska, Jason X.; Bloom, J.S.; Chen, H.-W.; Foley, R.J.; Perley, D.A.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E. et al. The Galaxy Hosts And Large-Scale Environments of Short-Hard Gamma-Ray Bursts, report, October 7, 2005; [Menlo Park, California]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875340/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.