Hsiao-Wen Chen, Daniel A. Perley, Lindsey K. Pollack, Jason X. Prochaska, Joshua S. Bloom, Miroslava Dessauges-Zavadsky, Max Pettini, Sebastian Lopez, Aldo Dall'aglio, George D. Becker
2009 Astrophysical Journal  
We present a study of 15 long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxies at z>2. The GRBs are selected with available early-time afterglow spectra in order to compare interstellar medium (ISM) absorption-line properties with stellar properties of the host galaxies. In addition to five previously studied hosts, we consider new detections for the host galaxies of GRB050820 and GRB060206 and place 2-sigma upper limits to the luminosities of the remaining unidentified hosts. We examine the nature
more » ... of the host galaxy population and find that (1) the UV luminosity distribution of GRB host galaxies is consistent with expectations from a UV luminosity weighted random galaxy population with a median luminosity of =0.1 L*; (2) there exists a moderate correlation between UV luminosity and SiII 1526 absorption width, which together with the observed large line widths of W(1526)>1.5 Ang for a large fraction of the objects suggests a galactic outflow driven velocity field in the host galaxies; (3) there is tentative evidence for a trend of declining ISM metallicity with decreasing galaxy luminosity in the star-forming galaxy population at z=2-4; (4) the interstellar UV radiation field is found ~ 35-350 times higher in GRB hosts than the Galactic mean value; and (5) additional galaxies are found at < 2" from the GRB host in all fields with known presence of strong MgII absorbers, but no additional faint galaxies are found at < 2" in fields without strong MgII absorbers. Our study confirms that the GRB host galaxies (with known optical afterglows) are representative of unobscured star-forming galaxies at z>2, and demonstrates that high spatial resolution images are necessary for an accurate identification of GRB host galaxies in the presence of strong intervening absorbers.
doi:10.1088/0004-637x/691/1/152 fatcat:x72i2lqdkjhbnboxx4rnim3ggu