T. Kruehler

Queen's University Belfast, Béal Feirste, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Publications (302)530.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present a statistical analysis of the environments of 11 supernovae (SNe) which occurred in six nearby galaxies (z ≲ 0.016). All galaxies were observed with MUSE, the high spatial resolution integral-field spectrograph mounted to the 8 m VLT UT4. These data enable us to map the full spatial extent of host galaxies up to ∼3 effective radii. In this way, not only can one characterize the specific host environment of each SN, one can compare their properties with stellar populations within the full range of other environments within the host. We present a method that consists of selecting all H ii regions found within host galaxies from 2D extinction-corrected Hα emission maps. These regions are then characterized in terms of their Hα equivalent widths, star formation rates and oxygen abundances. Identifying H ii regions spatially coincident with SN explosion sites, we are thus able to determine where within the distributions of host galaxy e.g. metallicities and ages each SN is found, thus providing new constraints on SN progenitor properties. This initial pilot study using MUSE opens the way for a revolution in SN environment studies where we are now able to study multiple environment SN progenitor dependencies using a single instrument and single pointing.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed analysis of a red quasar at z = 2.32 with an intervening damped Lyman α absorber (DLA) at z = 2.13. Using high-quality data from the X-shooter spectrograph at ESO Very Large Telescope, we find that the absorber has a metallicity consistent with solar. We observe strong C i and H2 absorption indicating a cold, dense absorbing medium. Partial coverage effects are observed in the C i lines, from which we infer a covering fraction of 27 ± 6 per cent and a physical diameter of the cloud of 0.1 pc. From the covering fraction and size, we estimate the size of the background quasar's broad line region. We search for emission from the DLA counterpart in optical and near-infrared imaging. No emission is observed in the optical data. However, we see tentative evidence for a counterpart in the H- and K′-band images. The DLA shows high depletion (as probed by [Fe/Zn] = −1.22) indicating that significant amounts of dust must be present in the DLA. By fitting the spectrum with various dust reddened quasar templates we find a best-fitting amount of dust in the DLA of A(V)DLA = 0.28 ± 0.01|stat ± 0.07|sys. We conclude that dust in the DLA is causing the colours of this intrinsically very luminous background quasar to appear much redder than average quasars, thereby not fulfilling the criteria for quasar identification in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Such chemically enriched and dusty absorbers are thus under-represented in current samples of DLAs.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • T. Krühler · D. A. Perley
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    ABSTRACT: We present data and initial results from VLT/X-Shooter emission-line spectroscopy of 96 galaxies selected by long γ-ray bursts (GRBs) at 0.1 <z< 3.6, the largest sample of GRB host spectra available to date. Most of our GRBs were detected by Swift and 76% are at 0.5 <z< 2.5 with a median z_(med) ~ 1.6. Based on Balmer and/or forbidden lines of oxygen, nitrogen, and neon, we measure systemic redshifts, star formation rates (SFR), visual attenuations (A_V), oxygen abundances (12 + log (O/H)), and emission-line widths (σ). We study GRB hosts up to z ~ 3.5 and find a strong change in their typical physical properties with redshift. The median SFR of our GRB hosts increases from SFR_(med) ~ 0.6 M⊙ yr^(-1) at z ~ 0.6 up to SFR_(med) ~ 15 M⊙ yr^(-1) at z ~ 2. A higher ratio of [O III]/[O II] at higher redshifts leads to an increasing distance of GRB-selected galaxies to the locus of local galaxies in the Baldwin-Phillips-Terlevich diagram. There is weak evidence for a redshift evolution in A_V and σ, with the highest values seen at z ~ 1.5 (A_V) or z ~ 2 (σ). Oxygen abundances of the galaxies are distributed between 12 + log (O/H) = 7.9 and 12 + log (O/H) = 9.0 with a median 12 + log (O/H)_(med) ~ 8.5. The fraction of GRB-selected galaxies with super-solar metallicities is ~20% at z 2 by ~0.4 dex. These properties of GRB hosts and their evolution with redshift can be understood in a cosmological context of star-forming galaxies and a picture in which the hosts’ properties at low redshift are influenced by the tendency of GRBs to avoid the most metal-rich environments.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. Long gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are associated with massive stars and are therefore linked to star formation. However, the conditions needed for the progenitor stars to produce LGRBs can affect the relation between the LGRB rate and star formation. By using the power of a complete LGRB sample, our long-term aim is to understand whether such a bias exists and, if it does, what its origin is. Methods. To reach our goal we use the Swift/BAT6 complete sample of LGRBs. In this first paper, we build the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the 14 z < 1 host galaxies of the BAT6 LGRB sample and determine their stellar masses (M_*) from SED fitting. To investigate the presence of a bias in the LGRB-star formation relation we compare the stellar mass distribution of the LGRB host galaxies (i) with star-forming galaxies observed in deep surveys (UltraVISTA) within the same redshift limit; (ii) with semi-analytical models of the z < 1 star-forming galaxy population; and (iii) with dedicated numerical simulations of LGRB hosts having different metallicity thresholds for the progenitor star environment. Results. We find that at z < 1, LGRBs tend to avoid massive galaxies and are very powerful for selecting a population of faint low-mass star-forming galaxies, partly below the completeness limits of galaxy surveys. The stellar mass distribution of the hosts is not consistent with that of the UltraVISTA star-forming galaxies weighted by their star formation rate (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. The comparison with the GRB host galaxy simulations indicates that, to reproduce the stellar mass distribution, a metallicity threshold of the order of Z_(th) = 0.3−0.5 Z_⊙ is necessary to form a LGRB. Models without a metallicity threshold or with an extreme threshold of Z_(th) = 0.1 Z_⊙ are excluded at z < 1. Under a very basic assumption, we estimate that the LGRB rate can directly trace the SFR starting from z ~ 4 and above. Conclusions. GRB hosts at z < 1 have lower luminosities and stellar masses than expected if LGRBs were unbiased star formation tracers. The use of the Swift/BAT6 complete sample keeps this result from being affected by possible biases that could have influenced past results based on incomplete samples. The preference for low metallicities (Z ≲ 0.5 Z_⊙) inferred by the comparison with the simulations can be a consequence of the particular conditions needed for the progenitor star to produce a GRB.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: A new class of ultra-long-duration (more than 10,000 seconds) γ-ray bursts has recently been suggested. They may originate in the explosion of stars with much larger radii than those producing normal long-duration γ-ray bursts or in the tidal disruption of a star. No clear supernova has yet been associated with an ultra-long-duration γ-ray burst. Here we report that a supernova (SN 2011kl) was associated with the ultra-long-duration γ-ray burst GRB 111209A, at a redshift z of 0.677. This supernova is more than three times more luminous than type Ic supernovae associated with long-duration γ-ray bursts, and its spectrum is distinctly different. The slope of the continuum resembles those of super-luminous supernovae, but extends further down into the rest-frame ultraviolet implying a low metal content. The light curve evolves much more rapidly than those of super-luminous supernovae. This combination of high luminosity and low metal-line opacity cannot be reconciled with typical type Ic supernovae, but can be reproduced by a model where extra energy is injected by a strongly magnetized neutron star (a magnetar), which has also been proposed as the explanation for super-luminous supernovae.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Nature
  • T. Krühler
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    ABSTRACT: To use the luminous gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows as messengers from the early Universe has been advocated ever since the discovery of the cosmological nature of the GRB phenomenon in the late nineties. It took, however, until the advent of Swift to detect high-redshift GRBs in significant numbers, and to provide the localization capabilities to enable statistical samples of GRBs free of selection biases and complete in redshift. I will present and discuss some of the recent progress in the field, with an emphasize on new results derived from sample studies and their implications for the nature of GRBs and their host galaxies. I will particularly focus on observations made with the seven-channel imager GROND and X-shooter, an optical/NIR echelle spectrograph mounted at the Very Large Telescope since 2009. (© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Astronomische Nachrichten
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    ABSTRACT: We present data and initial results from VLT/X-shooter emission-line spectroscopy of 96 GRB-selected galaxies at 0.1<z<3.6, the largest sample of GRB host spectroscopy available to date. The majority of our GRBs was detected by Swift and 76% are at 0.5<z<2.5 with a median z~1.6. Based on Balmer and/or forbidden lines of oxygen, nitrogen and neon, we measure systemic redshifts, star-formation rates, visual attenuations (A_V), oxygen abundances and emission-line widths (sigma). We find a strong change of the typical physical properties of GRB hosts with redshift. The median SFR, for example, increases from ~0.6 M_sun/yr at z~0.6 up to ~15 M_sun/yr at z~2. A higher ratio of [OIII]/[OII] at higher redshifts leads to an increasing distance of GRB-selected galaxies to the locus of local galaxies in the BPT diagram. Oxygen abundances of the galaxies are distributed between 12+log(O/H)=7.9 and 12+log(O/H)=9.0 with a median of 12+log(O/H)~8.5. The fraction of GRB-selected galaxies with super-solar metallicities is around 20% at z<1 in the adopted metallicity scale. This is significantly less than the fraction of star-formation in similar galaxies, illustrating that GRBs are scarce in high-metallicity environments. At z~3, sensitivity limits us to probing only the most luminous GRB hosts for which we derive metallicities of Z ~< 0.5 Z_sun. Together with a high incidence of galaxies with similar metallicity in our sample at z~1.5, this indicates that the metallicity dependence observed at low redshift will not be dominant at z~3.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade there has been immense progress in the follow-up of short and long GRBs, resulting in a significant rise in the detection rate of X-ray and optical afterglows, in the determination of GRB redshifts, and of the identification of the underlying host galaxies. Nevertheless, our theoretical understanding on the progenitors and central engines powering these vast explosions is lagging behind, and a newly identified class of `ultra-long' GRBs has fuelled speculation on the existence of a new channel of GRB formation. In this paper we present high signal-to-noise X-shooter observations of the host galaxy of GRB130925A, which is the fourth unambiguously identified ultra-long GRB, with prompt gamma-ray emission detected for ~20ks. The GRB line of sight was close to the host galaxy nucleus, and our spectroscopic observations cover both this region along the bulge/disk of the galaxy, in addition to a bright star-forming region within the outskirts of the galaxy. From our broad wavelength coverage we obtain accurate metallicity and dust-extinction measurements at both the galaxy nucleus, and outer star-forming region, and measure a super-solar metallicity at both locations, placing this galaxy within the 10-20% most metal-rich GRB host galaxies. Such a high metal enrichment has implications on the progenitor models of both long and ultra-long GRBs, although the edge-on orientation of the host galaxy does not allow us to rule out a large metallicity variation along our line of sight. The spatially resolved spectroscopic data presented in this paper offer important insight into variations in the metal and dust abundance within GRB host galaxies. They also illustrate the need for IFU observations on a larger sample of GRB host galaxies at varies metallicities to provide a more quantitative view on the relation between the GRB circumburst and the galaxy-whole properties.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present data for LSQ14bdq, a hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernova (SLSN) discovered by the La Silla QUEST survey and classified by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects. The spectrum and light curve are very similar to slow-declining SLSNe such as PTF12dam. However, detections within $\sim1$ day after explosion show a bright and relatively fast initial peak, lasting for $\sim15$ days, prior to the usual slow rise to maximum light. The broader, main peak can be fit with either central engine or circumstellar interaction models. We discuss the implications of the precursor peak in the context of these models. It is too bright and narrow to be explained as a normal \Ni-powered SN, and we suggest that interaction models may struggle to fit the precursor and main peak simultaneously. We propose that the initial peak is from the post-shock cooling of an extended stellar envelope, and reheating by a central engine drives the second peak. In this picture, we show that an explosion energy of $\sim2\times10^{52}$\,erg and a progenitor radius of a few hundred solar radii are required to power the early emission. The two competing engine models involve rapidly spinning magnetars (neutron stars) or fall-back accretion onto a central black hole. The prompt energy required may favour the black hole scenario. The remarkably bright initial peak effectively rules out a compact Wolf-Rayet star as a progenitor, since the inferred energies and ejected masses become unphysical.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Context. After the discovery of the first connection between γ-ray bursts (GRBs) and supernovae (SNe) almost two decades ago, tens of SN-like rebrightenings have been discovered and about seven solid associations have been spectroscopically confirmed to date. Aims. We determine the luminosity, evolution, and origin of three SN rebrightenings in GRB afterglow light curves at z ~ 0.5 along with accurate determinations of the host-galaxy extinction. We estimate physical parameters of the SN explosions, such as synthesised 56Ni mass, ejecta mass, and kinetic energy. Methods. We employ GROND optical/NIR data and Swift X-ray/UV data to estimate the host-galaxy extinction by modelling the afterglow spectral energy distribution, to determine the SN luminosity and evolution, and to construct quasi-bolometric light curves. The latter are corrected for the contribution of the NIR-bands using data available in the literature and black-body fits. We employ Arnett's analytic approach to obtain the physical parameters of the explosion. Results. The SNe 2008hw, 2009nz, and 2010ma observed by GROND exhibit 0.80, 1.15, and 1.78 times the optical (r′-band) luminosity of SN 1998bw, respectively. While SN 2009nz exhibits an evolution similar to SN 1998bw, SNe 2008hw and 2010ma show earlier peak times. The quasi-bolometric light curves (340-2200 nm) confirm the large luminosity of SN 2010ma (1.4 × 1043 erg s-1), while SNe 2008hw and 2009nz reached a peak luminosity closer to that of SN 1998bw. The modelling indicates in 56Ni masses of around 0.4-0.5 M⊙. Conclusions. By means of a very comprehensive data set, we found that the luminosity and the 56Ni mass of SNe 2008hw, 2009nz, and 2010ma resembles those of other known GRB-associated SNe. These findings strengthens previous claims of GRB-SNe being brighter than stripped-envelope SNe unaccompanied by GRBs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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).
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma-ray burst (GRB) 111215A was bright at X-ray and radio frequencies, but not detected in the optical or near-infrared (nIR) down to deep limits. We have observed the GRB afterglow with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and Arcminute Microkelvin Imager at radio frequencies, with the William Herschel Telescope and Nordic Optical Telescope in the nIR/optical, and with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We have combined our data with the Swift X-Ray Telescope monitoring, and radio and millimetre observations from the literature to perform broad-band modelling, and determined the macro- and microphysical parameters of the GRB blast wave. By combining the broad-band modelling results with our nIR upper limits we have put constraints on the extinction in the host galaxy. This is consistent with the optical extinction we have derived from the excess X-ray absorption, and higher than in other dark bursts for which similar modelling work has been performed. We also present deep imaging of the host galaxy with the Keck I telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which resulted in a well-constrained photometric redshift, giving credence to the tentative spectroscopic redshift we obtained with the Keck II telescope, and estimates for the stellar mass and star formation rate of the host. Finally, our high-resolution HST images of the host galaxy show that the GRB afterglow position is offset from the brightest regions of the host galaxy, in contrast to studies of optically bright GRBs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015
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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.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics

Publication Stats

2k Citations
530.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC)
      Béal Feirste, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 2014-2015
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      CGS, Maryland, United States
  • 2011-2015
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2013
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2012-2013
    • Dark Cosmology Centre
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Physics
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2009-2012
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008-2012
    • Technische Universität München
      • Excellence Cluster Universe
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg
      Tautenburg, Thuringia, Germany