stx220.pdf (4.93 MB)
Download file

The host galaxies and explosion sites of long-duration gamma ray bursts: Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared imaging

Download (4.93 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2017, 11:19 by J. D. Lyman, A. J. Levan, N. R. Tanvir, J. P. U. Fynbo, J. T. W. McGuire, D. A. Perley, C. R. Angus, J. S. Bloom, C. J. Conselice, A. S. Fruchter, J. Hjorth, P. Jakobsson, R. L. C. Starling
We present the results of a Hubble Space Telescope WFC3/F160W SNAPSHOT survey of the host galaxies of 39 long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) at z < 3. We have non-detections of hosts at the locations of 4 bursts. Sufficient accuracy to astrometrically align optical afterglow images and determine the location of the LGRB within its host was possible for 31/35 detected hosts. In agreement with other work, we find the luminosity distribution of LGRB hosts is significantly fainter than that of a star formation rate-weighted field galaxy sample over the same redshift range, indicating LGRBs are not unbiasedly tracing the star formation rate. Morphologically, the sample of LGRB hosts are dominated by spiral-like or irregular galaxies. We find evidence for evolution of the population of LGRB hosts towards lower-luminosity, higher concentrated hosts at lower redshifts. Their half-light radii are consistent with other LGRB host samples where measurements were made on rest-frame UV observations. In agreement with recent work, we find their 80 per cent enclosed flux radii distribution to be more extended than previously thought, making them intermediate between core-collapse supernova (CCSN) and super-luminous supernova (SLSN) hosts. The galactocentric projected-offset distribution confirms LGRBs as centrally concentrated, much more so than CCSNe and similar to SLSNe. LGRBs are strongly biased towards the brighter regions in their host light distributions, regardless of their offset. We find a correlation between the luminosity of the LGRB explosion site and the intrinsic column density, N_H , towards the burst.


JDL and AJL acknowledge support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (grant ID ST/I001719/1) and the Leverhulme Trust, as part of a Philip Leverhulme Prize award.



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017) 467 (2): 1795-1817.

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017) 467 (2): 1795-1817.


Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society





Acceptance date


Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version



Usage metrics