T. Kruehler

IT University of Copenhagen, København, Capital Region, Denmark

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Publications (290)361.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present rest-frame NIR luminosities and stellar masses for a large and uniformly-selected population of GRB host galaxies using deep Spitzer Space Telescope imaging of 117 targets from the Swift GRB Host Galaxy Legacy Survey spanning 0.03 < z < 6.3, and determine the effects of galaxy evolution and chemical enrichment on the mass distribution of the GRB host population across cosmic history. We find strong evolution in the host luminosity distribution between z~0.5 (median absolute NIR AB magnitude ~ -18.5, corresponding to M* ~ 3x10^8 M_sun and z~1.5), but negligible variation between z~1.5 and z~5 (median magnitude ~ -21.2, corresponding to M* ~ 5x10^9 M_sun). Dust-obscured GRBs dominate the massive host population but are only rarely seen associated with low-mass hosts, indicating that massive star-forming galaxies are universally and (to some extent) homogeneously dusty at high-redshift while low-mass star-forming galaxies retain little dust in their ISM. Comparing our luminosity distributions to field surveys and measurements of the high-z mass-metallicity relation, our results have good consistency with a model in which the GRB rate per unit star-formation is constant in galaxies with gas-phase metallicity below approximately the Solar value but heavily suppressed in more metal-rich environments. This model also naturally explains the previously-reported "excess" in the GRB rate beyond z>2; metals stifle GRB production in most galaxies at z<1.5 but have only minor impact at higher redshifts. The metallicity threshold we infer is much higher than predicted by single-star models and favors a binary progenitor. Our observations also constrain the fraction of cosmic star-formation in low-mass galaxies undetectable to Spitzer to be a small minority at most redshifts (~10% at z~2, ~25% at z~3, and ~50% at z=3.5-6.0).
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxy Legacy Survey ("SHOALS"), a multi-observatory high-redshift galaxy survey targeting the largest unbiased sample of long-duration gamma-ray burst hosts yet assembled (119 in total). We describe the motivations of the survey and the development of our selection criteria, including an assessment of the impact of various observability metrics on the success rate of afterglow-based redshift measurement. We briefly outline our host-galaxy observational program, consisting of deep Spitzer/IRAC imaging of every field supplemented by similarly-deep, multi-color optical/NIR photometry, plus spectroscopy of events without pre-existing redshifts. Our optimized selection cuts combined with host-galaxy follow-up have so far enabled redshift measurements for 110 targets (92%) and placed upper limits on all but one of the remainder. About 20% of GRBs in the sample are heavily dust-obscured, and at most 2% originate from z>5.5. Using this sample we estimate the redshift-dependent GRB rate density, showing it to peak at z~2.5 and fall by about an order of magnitude towards low (z=0) redshift, while declining more gradually towards high (z~7) redshift. This behavior is consistent with a progenitor whose formation efficiency varies modestly over cosmic history. Our survey will permit the most detailed examination to date of the connection between the GRB host population and general star-forming galaxies, directly measure evolution in the host population over cosmic time and discern its causes, and provide new constraints on the fraction of cosmic star-formation occurring in undetectable galaxies at all redshifts.
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    ABSTRACT: Using multi-epoch broad-band observations of the GRB 121024A afterglow, we measure the three characteristic break frequencies of the synchrotron spectrum. We use 6 epochs of combined XRT and GROND data to constrain the temporal slope, the dust extinction and the spectral slope with high accuracy. Two further epochs of combined data from XRT, GROND, APEX, CARMA and EVLA are used to set constraints on the break frequencies and therefore on the micro-physical and dynamical parameters. The XRT and GROND light curves show a simultaneous break at around 42 ks. No spectral evolution is observed between the afterglow SEDs before and after the break. As a result, the crossing of the synchrotron cooling break is not suitable as an explanation for the break in the light curve. The multi-wavelength data give us a unique opportunity to discern between two plausible scenarios explaining the break: the end of energy injection and a jet break. The observations are explained by two possible scenarios, a jet break and an energy injection model. The jet break model has been suggested by previous analysis of the observed linear and circular polarisation although it requires a flat electron spectrum, a very low cooling break and a non-spreading jet. The energy injection avoids an extremely flat spectrum for the shock-accelerated electrons, the very low cooling break frequency and the extreme prompt emission efficiency. However some atypical values for the micro-physics of particle acceleration arise in this model. It is consistent with the correlation between luminosity and end-time of the plateau in the light curve, reportedfrom large sample studies of XRT data.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first uniform treatment of long duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxy detections and upper limits over the redshift range 3<z<5, a key epoch for observational and theoretical efforts to understand the processes, environments, and consequences of early cosmic star formation. We contribute deep imaging observations of 13 GRB positions yielding the discovery of eight new host galaxies. We use this dataset in tandem with previously published observations of 31 further GRB positions to estimate or constrain the host galaxy rest-frame ultraviolet (UV; 1600 A) absolute magnitudes M_UV. We then use the combined set of 44 M_UV estimates and limits to construct the M_UV luminosity function (LF) for GRB host galaxies over 3<z<5 and compare it to expectations from Lyman break galaxy (LBG) photometric surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope. Adopting standard prescriptions for the luminosity dependence of galaxy dust obscuration (and hence, total star formation rate), we find that our LF is compatible with LBG observations over a factor of 600x in host luminosity, from M_UV = -22.5 mag to >-15.6 mag, and with extrapolations of the assumed Schechter-type LF well beyond this range. We review proposed astrophysical and observational biases for our sample, and find they are for the most part minimal. We therefore conclude, as the simplest interpretation of our results, that GRBs successfully trace UV metrics of cosmic star formation over the range 3<z<5. Our findings suggest GRBs are providing an accurate picture of star formation processes from z ~3 out to the highest redshifts.
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    ABSTRACT: 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 that can evade detection in flux-limited surveys. However, the exact relation between GRB rate and Star Formation Rate (SFR) throughout all redshifts is controversial. The TOUGH survey includes observations of all GRB hosts (69) in an optically unbiased sample and 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 a Luminosity Function derived from SFR weighted models incorporating GRB production via both metallicity-dependent and independent channels with a relatively high level of bias towards 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 $z\sim3$ and $z\sim6$, we observe an apparent lack of UV bright hosts in comparison with Lyman-break galaxies, though the significance of this shortfall is limited by nine hosts of unknown redshift.
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    ABSTRACT: In this work we use gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglow spectra observed with the VLT/X-shooter spectrograph to measure rest-frame extinction in GRB lines-of-sight by modeling the broadband near-infrared (NIR) to X-ray afterglow spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Our sample consists of nine Swift GRBs, eight of them belonging to the long-duration and one to the short-duration class. Dust is modeled using the average extinction curves of the Milky Way and the two Magellanic Clouds. We derive the rest-frame extinction of the entire sample, which fall in the range $0 \lesssim {\it A}_{\rm V} \lesssim 1.2$. Moreover, the SMC extinction curve is the preferred extinction curve template for the majority of our sample, a result which is in agreement with those commonly observed in GRB lines-of-sights. In one analysed case (GRB 120119A), the common extinction curve templates fail to reproduce the observed extinction. To illustrate the advantage of using the high-quality X-shooter afterglow SEDs over the photometric SEDs, we repeat the modeling using the broadband SEDs with the NIR-to-UV photometric measurements instead of the spectra. The main result is that the spectroscopic data, thanks to a combination of excellent resolution and coverage of the blue part of the SED, are more successful in constraining the extinction curves and therefore the dust properties in GRB hosts with respect to photometric measurements. In all cases but one the extinction curve of one template is preferred over the others. We show that the modeled values of the extinction and the spectral slope, obtained through spectroscopic and photometric SED analysis, can differ significantly for individual events. Finally we stress that, regardless of the resolution of the optical-to-NIR data, the SED modeling gives reliable results only when the fit is performed on a SED covering a broader spectral region.
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    ABSTRACT: After the discovery of the first connection between GRBs and SNe almost two decades ago, tens of SN-like rebrightenings have been discovered and about seven solid associations have been spectroscopically confirmed to date. Using GROND optical/NIR data and Swift X-ray/UV data, we estimate the intrinsic extinction, luminosity, and evolution of three SN rebrightenings in GRB afterglow light curves at z~0.5. The SNe 2008hw, 2009nz, and 2010ma exhibit 0.80, 1.15, and 1.78 times the optical (r band) luminosity of SN 1998bw, respectively. While SN 2009nz evolves similarly to SN 1998bw, SNe 2008hw and 2010ma show earlier peak times. The quasi-bolometric light curves were corrected for the contribution of the NIR bands using data available in the literature and blackbody fits. The large luminosity of SN 2010ma (1.4x10^43 erg/s) is confirmed, while SNe 2008hw and 2009nz reached a peak luminosity closer to SN 1998bw. Physical parameters of the SN explosions, such as synthesised nickel mass, ejecta mass, and kinetic energy, are estimated using Arnett's analytic approach, which resulted in nickel masses of around 0.4-0.5 Msun. By means of the a very comprehensive data set, we found that the luminosity and the nickel mass of SNe 2008hw, 2009nz, and 2010ma resembles those of other known GRB-associated SNe. This findings strengthens previous claims of GRB-SNe being brighter than type-Ic SNe unaccompanied by GRBs.
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321936 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-duration gamma-ray bursts act as beacons to the sites of star-formation in the distant universe. GRBs reveal galaxies too faint and star-forming regions too dusty to characterize in detail using any other method, and provide a powerful independent constraint on the evolution of the cosmic star-formation rate density at high-redshift. However, a full understanding of the GRB phenomenon and its relation to cosmic star-formation requires connecting the observations obtained from GRBs to the properties of the galaxies hosting them. The large majority of GRBs originate at moderate to high redshift (z>1) and Spitzer has proven crucial for understanding the host population, given its unique ability to observe the rest-frame NIR and its unrivaled sensitivity and efficiency. We propose to complete a comprehensive public legacy survey of the Swift GRB host population to build on our earlier successes and push beyond the statistical limits of previous, smaller efforts. Our survey will enable a diverse range of GRB and galaxy science including: (1) to quantitatively and robustly map the connection between GRBs and cosmic star-formation to constrain the GRB progenitor and calibrate GRB rate-based measurements of the high-z cosmic star-formation rate; (2) to constrain the luminosity function of star-forming galaxies at the faint end and at high redshift; (3) to understand how the ISM properties seen in absorption in high-redshift galaxies unveiled by GRBs - metallicity, dust column, dust properties - connect to global properties of the host galaxies such as mass and age. Building on a decade of experience at both observatories, our observations will create an enduring joint Swift-Spitzer legacy sample and provide the definitive resource with which to examine all aspects of the GRB/galaxy connection for years and possibly decades to come.
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of the HII regions in the galaxy NGC 6754 from a two pointing mosaic comprising 197,637 individual spectra, using Integral Field Spectrocopy (IFS) recently acquired with the MUSE instrument during its Science Verification program. The data cover the entire galaxy out to ~2 effective radii (re ), sampling its morphological structures with unprecedented spatial resolution for a wide-field IFU. A complete census of the H ii regions limited by the atmospheric seeing conditions was derived, comprising 396 individual ionized sources. This is one of the largest and most complete catalogue of H ii regions with spectroscopic information in a single galaxy. We use this catalogue to derive the radial abundance gradient in this SBb galaxy, finding a negative gradient with a slope consistent with the characteristic value for disk galaxies recently reported. The large number of H ii regions allow us to estimate the typical mixing scale-length (rmix ~0.4 re ), which sets strong constraints on the proposed mechanisms for metal mixing in disk galaxies, like radial movements associated with bars and spiral arms, when comparing with simulations. We found evidence for an azimuthal variation of the oxygen abundance, that may be related with the radial migration. These results illustrate the unique capabilities of MUSE for the study of the enrichment mechanisms in Local Universe galaxies.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 573. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424950 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a survey of nearby core-collapse supernova (SN) explosion sites using integral field spectroscopy (IFS) technique, which is an extension of the work described in Kuncarayakti et al. (2013, AJ, 146, 30/31) . The project aims to constrain the SN progenitor properties based on the study of the SN immediate environment. The stellar populations present at the SN explosion sites are studied by means of integral field spectroscopy, which enables the acquisition of both spatial and spectral information of the object simultaneously. The spectrum of the SN parent stellar population gives the estimate of its age and metallicity. With this information, the initial mass and metallicity of the once coeval SN progenitor star are derived. While the survey is mostly done in optical, additionally the utilization of near-infrared integral field spectroscopy assisted with adaptive optics (AO) enables us to examine the explosion sites in high spatial details, down to a few parsecs. This work is being carried out using multiple 2-8 m class telescopes equipped with integral field spectrographs in Chile and Hawaii.
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    ABSTRACT: Superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) were only discovered recently due to their preference for occurring in faint dwarf galaxies. Understanding why stellar evolution yields different types of stellar explosions in these environments is fundamental in order to both uncover the elusive progenitors of SLSNe and to study star formation in dwarf galaxies. In this paper, we present the first results of our project to study SUperluminous Supernova Host galaxIES (SUSHIES), focusing on the sample for which we have obtained spectroscopy. We show that SLSNe-I and SLSNe-R (hydrogen-poor) often (~50% in our sample) occur in a class of galaxies that is known as Extreme Emission Line Galaxies (EELGs). The probability of this happening by chance is negligible and we therefore conclude that the extreme environmental conditions and the SLSN phenomenon are related. In contrast, SLSNe-II (hydrogen-rich) occur in more massive, more metal-rich galaxies with softer radiation fields. Therefore, if SLSNe-II constitute a uniform class, their progenitor systems must be different from those of H-poor SLSNe. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are, on average, not found in as extreme environments as H-poor SLSNe. We propose that H-poor SLSNe result from the very first stars exploding in a starburst, even earlier than GRBs. This might indicate a bottom-light initial mass function in these systems. SLSNe present a novel method of selecting candidate EELGs independent of their luminosity.
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    ABSTRACT: LGRBs are associated with massive stars and are therefore linked to star formation. The conditions necessary to produce LGRBs can affect the relation between the LGRB rate and star formation. By using the power of a complete LGRB sample, our aim is to understand whether such a bias exists and, if it does, what is its origin. In this first paper, we build the SED of the z<1 host galaxies of the BAT6 LGRB sample, and determine their stellar masses from SED fitting. We compare the resulting stellar mass distribution (i) with star-forming galaxies observed in deep surveys (UltraVISTA); (ii) with semi-analitical models of the z<1 star forming galaxy population and (iii) with numerical simulations of LGRB hosts having different metallicity thresholds for the progenitor star environment. We find that at z<1 LGRBs tend to avoid massive galaxies and are powerful in selecting faint low-mass star-forming galaxies. The stellar mass distribution of the hosts is not consistent with that of the UltraVISTA star-forming galaxies weighted for their SFR. This implies that, at least at z<1, LGRBs are not unbiased tracers of star formation. To make the two distributions consistent, a much steeper faint-end of the mass function would be required, or a very shallow SFR-Mass relation for the low mass galaxy population. GRB host galaxy simulations indicates that, to reproduce the stellar mass distribution, a metallicity threshold of the order of Z_th=0.3-0.5Z_sun is necessary. Models without a metallicity threshold or with an extreme threshold of Z_th = 0.1Z_sun are excluded at z<1. The use of the BAT6 complete sample makes this result not affected by possible biases which could have influenced past results based on incomplete samples. The preference for low metallicities (Z<~0.5Z_sun) can be a consequence of the particular conditions needed for the progenitor star to produce a GRB. (Abridged)
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first reported case of the simultaneous metallicity determination of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxy, from both afterglow absorption lines as well as strong emission-line diagnostics. Using spectroscopic and imaging observations of the afterglow and host of the long-duration GRB121024A at z = 2.30, we give one of the most complete views of a GRB host/environment to date. We observe a strong damped Ly-alpha absorber (DLA) with a hydrogen column density of log N(HI) = 21.80+/-0.15, H_2 absorption in the Lyman-Werner bands (molecular fraction of log(f) ~ -1.4; fourth solid detection of molecular hydrogen in a GRB-DLA), the nebular emission lines H-alpha, H-beta, [OII], [OIII] and [NII], as well as a large variety of metal absorption lines. We find a GRB host galaxy that is highly star-forming (SFR ~ 40 Msolar/yr), with a dust-corrected metallicity along the line of sight of [Zn/H]corr = -0.5+/-0.2 ([O/H] ~ -0.3 from emission lines), and a depletion factor of refractory elements of [Zn/Fe] = 0.85+/-0.04. The molecular gas is separated by 400 km/s from the gas that is excited by the GRB (implying a fairly massive host, in agreement with the derived stellar mass of log(Mstellar/Msolar) = 9.9+/-0.2). Including emission line analysis, we isolate and characterise three different gas-phases within the star-forming host galaxy. Our main result is that the metallicity determinations from both absorption and emission lines are consistent, which is encouraging for the comparison of GRB host metallicities at different redshifts.
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Gamma-ray burst (GRBs) afterglows probe sightlines to star-forming regions in distant star-forming galaxies. Here we present a study of the peculiar afterglow spectrum of the z = 0.889 Swift GRB 140506A. Aims. Our aim is to understand the origin of the very unusual properties of the absorption along the line-of-sight. Methods. We analyse spectroscopic observations obtained with the X-shooter spectrograph mounted on the ESO/VLT at two epochs 8.8 h and 33 h after the burst as well as imaging from the GROND instrument. We also present imaging and spectroscopy of the host galaxy obtained with the Magellan telescope. Results. The underlying afterglow appears to be a typical afterglow of a long-duration GRB. However, the material along the line-of- sight has imprinted very unusual features on the spectrum. Firstly, there is a very broad and strong flux drop below 8000 AA (4000 AA in the rest frame), which seems to be variable between the two spectroscopic epochs. We can reproduce the flux-drops both as a giant 2175 AA extinction bump and as an effect of multiple scattering on dust grains in a dense environment. Secondly, we detect absorption lines from excited H i and He i. We also detect molecular absorption from CH+ . Conclusions. We interpret the unusual properties of these spectra as reflecting the presence of three distinct regions along the line-of-sight: the excited He i absorption originates from an H ii-region, whereas the Balmer absorption must originate from an associated photodissociation region. The strong metal line and molecular absorption and the dust extinction must originate from a third, cooler region along the line-of-sight. The presence of (at least) three separate regions is reflected in the fact that the different absorption components have different velocities relative to the systemic redshift of the host galaxy.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 572. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424726 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reionisation of the universe is thought to have ended around z~6, as inferred from spectroscopy of distant bright background sources such as quasars (QSO) and gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Furthermore, spectroscopy of a GRB afterglow provides insight in its host galaxy, which is often too dim and distant to study otherwise. We present the high S/N VLT/X-shooter spectrum of GRB130606A at z=5.913. We aim to measure the degree of ionisation of the IGM between 5.02<z<5.84, and to study the chemical abundance pattern and dust content of its host galaxy. We measure the flux decrement due to IGM absorption at Ly$\alpha$, $\beta$ and $\gamma$ wavelength regions. The hydrogen and metal absorption lines formed in the host galaxy are fitted with Voigt profiles to obtain column densities. Our measurements of the Ly$\alpha$-forest optical depth are consistent with previous measurements of QSOs, but have smaller uncertainty than these. The Ly$\alpha$ red-damping-wing analysis yields a neutral fraction $x_{HI}<0.03$ (3$\sigma$). We obtain column density measurements of several elements. The ionisation corrections due to the GRB is estimated to be negligible (<0.03 dex), but larger corrections may apply due to pre-existing radiation field (up to 0.3 dex based on sub-DLA studies). Our measurements confirm that the Universe is already predominantly ionised over the redshift range probed in this work, but was slightly more neutral at z>5.6. GRBs are useful probes of the IGM ionisation state of the early Universe, but because of internal scatter we need a larger statistical sample to draw robust conclusions. The high [Si/Fe] in the host can be due to dust depletion, alpha-element enhancement or a combination. The very high value of [Al/Fe]=2.40+/-0.78 might be connected to the stellar population history. We estimate the host metallicity to be -1.5<[M/H]<-1.2 (3%-6% of solar). [truncated]
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first observations of the Frontier Fields Cluster Abell S1063, taken with the newly commissioned Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field spectrograph. Because of the relatively large field of view (1 arcmin^2), MUSE is ideal to simultaneously target multiple galaxies in blank and cluster fields over the full optical spectrum. We analysed the four hours of data obtained in the Science Verification phase on this cluster and measured redshifts for 60 objects. We confirm the redshift of five cluster galaxies, and determine the redshift of 28 other cluster members. Behind the cluster, we find 16 galaxies at higher redshift, including three previously unknown Lyman-alpha emitters at z>3, and five multiply-lensed galaxies. We report the detection of a new z=4.113 multiply lensed galaxy, with images that are consistent with lensing model predictions derived for the Fronter Fields. We detect CIII], C IV and He II emission in a multiply lensed galaxy at z=3.116, suggesting the likely presence of an AGN. We also created narrow-band images from the MUSE datacube to automatically search for further line emitters corresponding to high-redshift candidates, but we could not identify any significant detections other than those found by visual inspection. With the new redshifts, it will become possible to obtain an accurate mass reconstruction in the core of Abell S1063 through refined strong lensing modelling. Overall, our results illustrate the breadth of scientific topics that can be addressed with a single MUSE pointing. We conclude that MUSE is a very efficient instrument to observe galaxy clusters, enabling their mass modelling, as well as to perform a blind search for high-redshift galaxies.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 574. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424962 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are indisputably related to star formation, and their vast luminosity in gamma rays pin-points regions of star formation independent of galaxy mass. As such, GRBs provide a unique tool for studying star forming galaxies out to high-z independent of luminosity. Most of our understanding of the properties of GRB hosts (GRBHs) comes from optical and near-infrared (NIR) follow-up observations, and we therefore have relatively little knowledge of the fraction of dust-enshrouded star formation that resides within GRBHs. Currently ~20% of GRBs show evidence of significant amounts of dust along the line of sight to the afterglow through the host galaxy, and these GRBs tend to reside within redder and more massive galaxies than GRBs with optically bright afterglows. In this paper we present Herschel observations of five GRBHs with evidence of being dust-rich, targeted to understand the dust attenuation properties within GRBs better. Despite the sensitivity of our Herschel observations, only one galaxy in our sample was detected (GRBH 070306), for which we measure a total star formation rate (SFR) of ~100Mstar/yr, and which had a relatively high stellar mass (log[Mstar]=10.34+0.09/-0.04). Nevertheless, when considering a larger sample of GRBHs observed with Herschel, it is clear that stellar mass is not the only factor contributing to a Herschel detection, and significant dust extinction along the GRB sightline (A_{V,GRB}>1.5~mag) appears to be a considerably better tracer of GRBHs with high dust mass. This suggests that the extinguishing dust along the GRB line of sight lies predominantly within the host galaxy ISM, and thus those GRBs with A_{V,GRB}>1~mag but with no host galaxy Herschel detections are likely to have been predominantly extinguished by dust within an intervening dense cloud.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2014; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424092 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Luminous infrared galaxies and submillimeter galaxies contribute significantly to stellar mass assembly and the frequency of GRBs in these systems provides an important test of the connection between the gamma-ray burst rate and that of overall cosmic star-formation. We present sensitive 3 GHz radio observations using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array of 31 uniformly-selected GRB host galaxies spanning a redshift range from 0 < z < 2.5, providing the first fully dust- and sample-unbiased measurement of the fraction of GRBs originating from the Universe's most bolometrically luminous galaxies. Four galaxies are detected, with inferred radio star-formation rates ranging between 50-300 Msun/yr. Three of the four detections correspond to events consistent with being optically-obscured "dark" bursts. Our overall detection fraction implies that between 5-25% of GRBs between 0.5 < z < 2.5 occur in galaxies with S_3GHz > 10 uJy, corresponding to SFR > 50 Msun/yr at z~1 or > 250 Msun/yr at z~2. Similar galaxies contribute approximately 10-30% of all cosmic star-formation, so our results are consistent with a GRB rate which is not strongly biased with respect to the total star-formation rate of a galaxy. However, all four radio-detected hosts have modest stellar masses (~few x 10^10 Msun), significantly lower than IR/submillimeter-selected field galaxies of similar luminosities. We suggest that GRBs may be suppressed in metal-rich environments but independently are enhanced in intense starbursts, producing a strong efficiency dependence on mass but little net dependence on bulk galaxy star-formation rate.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 801(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/801/2/102 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prompt or early optical emission in gamma-ray bursts is notoriously difficult to measure, and observations of the dozen cases show a large variety of properties. Yet, such early emission promises to help us achieve a better understanding of the GRB emission process(es). We performed dedicated observations of the ultra-long duration (T90 about 7000 s) GRB 130925A in the optical/near-infrared with the 7-channel "Gamma-Ray Burst Optical and Near-infrared Detector" (GROND) at the 2.2m MPG/ESO telescope. We detect an optical/NIR flare with an amplitude of nearly 2 mag which is delayed with respect to the keV--MeV prompt emission by about 300--400 s. The decay time of this flare is shorter than the duration of the flare (500 s) or its delay. While we cannot offer a straightforward explanation, we discuss the implications of the flare properties and suggest ways toward understanding it.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2014; 568. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424250 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
361.80 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2015
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2014
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
    • European Southern Observatory
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2012
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Physics
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • Dark Cosmology Centre
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2009–2012
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008–2011
    • Technische Universität München
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg
      Tautenburg, Thuringia, Germany