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Toward an Understanding of the Progenitors of Gamma-Ray Bursts

AUTHOR Bloom, Joshua S.
PUBLISHER Dissertation.com (11/12/2002)
PRODUCT TYPE Paperback (Paperback)

Description
The various possibilities for the origin ("progenitors") of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) manifest in differing observable properties. Through deep spectroscopic and high-resolution imaging observations of some GRB hosts, I demonstrate that well-localized long-duration GRBs are connected with otherwise normal star-forming galaxies at moderate redshifts of order unity. Using high-mass binary stellar population synthesis models, I quantify the expected spatial extent around galaxies of coalescing neutron stars, one of the leading contenders for GRB progenitors. I then test this scenario by examining the offset distribution of GRBs about their apparent hosts making extensive use of ground-based optical data from Keck and Palomar and space-based imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope. The offset distribution appears to be inconsistent with the coalescing neutron star binary hypothesis (and, similarly, black-hole--neutron star coalescences); instead, the distribution is statistically consistent with a population of progenitors that closely traces the ultra-violet light of galaxies. This is naturally explained by bursts which originate from the collapse of massive stars collapsars''). This claim is further supported by the unambiguous detections of intermediate-time (approximately three weeks after the bursts) emission bumps'' which appear substantially more red than the afterglows themselves. I claim that these bumps could originate from supernovae that occur at approximately the same time as the associated GRB; if true, GRB 980326 and GRB 011121 provide strong observational evidence connecting cosmological GRBs to high-redshift supernovae and implicate massive stars as the progenitors of at least some long-duration GRBs.
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Product Details
ISBN-13: 9781581121698
ISBN-10: 1581121695
Binding: Paperback or Softback (Trade Paperback (Us))
Content Language: English
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Page Count: 200
Carton Quantity: 40
Product Dimensions: 5.50 x 0.46 x 8.50 inches
Weight: 0.57 pound(s)
Country of Origin: US
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BISAC Categories
Science | Physics - Astrophysics
Science | Space Science - Astronomy
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The various possibilities for the origin ("progenitors") of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) manifest in differing observable properties. Through deep spectroscopic and high-resolution imaging observations of some GRB hosts, I demonstrate that well-localized long-duration GRBs are connected with otherwise normal star-forming galaxies at moderate redshifts of order unity. Using high-mass binary stellar population synthesis models, I quantify the expected spatial extent around galaxies of coalescing neutron stars, one of the leading contenders for GRB progenitors. I then test this scenario by examining the offset distribution of GRBs about their apparent hosts making extensive use of ground-based optical data from Keck and Palomar and space-based imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope. The offset distribution appears to be inconsistent with the coalescing neutron star binary hypothesis (and, similarly, black-hole--neutron star coalescences); instead, the distribution is statistically consistent with a population of progenitors that closely traces the ultra-violet light of galaxies. This is naturally explained by bursts which originate from the collapse of massive stars collapsars''). This claim is further supported by the unambiguous detections of intermediate-time (approximately three weeks after the bursts) emission bumps'' which appear substantially more red than the afterglows themselves. I claim that these bumps could originate from supernovae that occur at approximately the same time as the associated GRB; if true, GRB 980326 and GRB 011121 provide strong observational evidence connecting cosmological GRBs to high-redshift supernovae and implicate massive stars as the progenitors of at least some long-duration GRBs.
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Author: Bloom, Joshua S.
Joshua S. Bloom is associate professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley.
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