February 26, 2024

Astronomers Trace Short Gamma-Ray Bursts Farther Into Distant Universe

Using observations and modeling, astronomers pinpointed the origins of 84 SGRBs, quadrupling existing samples.
They discovered that 85% of SGRBs in the catalog originated from young, actively star-forming galaxies and 20-40% of SGRBs occurred when deep space was much younger.
The team likewise found that numerous SGRBs were spotted outside their host galaxies, as if they were kicked out.
Scientist: Our catalog will act as a benchmark for contrast to future detections of neutron star mergers.

The astronomers also discovered that more SGRBs happened at earlier times, when deep space was much younger– and with greater ranges from their host galaxies centers– than previously known. Remarkably, several SGRBs were spotted far outside their host galaxies– as if they were “kicked out,” a finding that raises concerns regarding how they were able to take a trip up until now away.
” This is the largest catalog of SGRB host galaxies to ever exist, so we expect it to be the gold standard for lots of years to come,” stated Anya Nugent, a Northwestern graduate trainee who led the study focused on modeling host galaxies. “Building this brochure and lastly having enough host galaxies to see patterns and draw considerable conclusions is exactly what the field required to press our understanding of these fantastic events and what occurs to stars after they die.”
Short gamma-ray burst host galaxies across cosmic time. Credit: W.M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko
The group released two papers, detailing the brand-new catalog. Since SGRBs are amongst the brightest explosions in the universe, the team calls its catalog BRIGHT (Broadband Repository for Investigating Gamma-ray burst Host Traits).
Nugent is a college student in physics and astronomy at Northwesterns Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). She is encouraged by Wen-fai Fong, an assistant teacher of physics and astronomy at Weinberg and a key member of CIERA, who led a second research study concentrated on SGRB host observations.
Criteria for future comparisons
When 2 neutron stars clash, they generate momentary flashes of intense gamma-ray light, understood as SGRBs. SGRBs are some of the most luminescent explosions in the universe with, at most, a lots found and determined each year.
Because NASAs Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory initially discovered an SGRB afterglow in 2005, astronomers have spent the last 17 years trying to understand which galaxies produce these powerful bursts. Stars within a galaxy can provide insight into the ecological conditions needed to produce SGRBs and can link the mystical bursts to their neutron-star merger origins. Far, just one SGRB (GRB 170817A) has a validated neutron-star merger origin– as it was discovered simply seconds after gravitational wave detectors observed the binary neutron-star merger (GW170817).
” In a years, the next generation of gravitational wave observatories will have the ability to detect neutron star mergers out to the same ranges as we do SGRBs today,” Fong stated. “Thus, our catalog will act as a standard for contrast to future detections of neutron star mergers.”
” The brochure can actually make effects beyond just a single class of transients like SGRBs,” stated Yuxin “Vic” Dong, research study co-author and astrophysics Ph.D. student at Northwestern. “With the wealth of information and results presented in the brochure, I think a variety of research projects will use it, maybe even in methods we have actually yet not believed of.”
Insight into neutron-star systems
To produce the catalog, the scientists used several extremely sensitive instruments at W.M. Keck Observatory, the Gemini Observatories, the MMT Observatory, the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory and the Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory to capture deep imaging and spectroscopy of some of the faintest galaxies determined in the study of SGRB hosts. The group also utilized data from 2 of NASAs Great Observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope.
” This is the largest brochure of SGRB host galaxies to ever exist, so we expect it to be the gold standard for numerous years to come.”
— Anya Nugent, astrophysics finish trainee
Prior to these new research studies, astronomers characterized host galaxies from just a couple dozen SGRBs. The new brochure is quadruple the number of existing samples. With the benefit of a much larger dataset, the catalog reveals that SGRB host galaxies can be either star-forming and young or old and approaching death. This means neutron-star systems form in a broad range of environments and a number of them have fast formation-to-merger timescales. Since neutron-star mergers produce heavy components like gold and platinum, the catalogs information likewise will deepen researchers understanding of when precious metals were first produced in deep space.
” We believe that the younger SGRBs we found in younger host galaxies come from binary excellent systems that formed in a star development burst and are so firmly bound that they can merge very quickly,” Nugent said. We discover proof for older SGRBs in the galaxies that are much older and believe the stars in those galaxies either took a longer time to form a binary or were a binary system that was more separated.
Potential of JWST
With the capability to spot the faintest host galaxies from really early times in the universe, NASAs brand-new infrared flagship observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is poised to additional advance the understanding of neutron star mergers and how far back in time they started.
” Im most delighted about the possibility of utilizing JWST to probe deeper into the homes of these rare, explosive events,” Nugent said. “JWSTs ability to observe faint galaxies in deep space could discover more SGRB host galaxies that are currently averting detection, possibly even revealing a missing population and a link to the early universe.”
” I started observations for this project 10 years ago, and it was so pleasing to be able to pass the torch onto the next generation of scientists,” Fong said. “It is one of my careers biggest delights to see years of work come to life in this brochure, thanks to the young researchers who truly took this research study to the next level.”
References:
” Short GRB Host Galaxies. I. Photometric and Spectroscopic Catalogs, Host Associations, and Galactocentric Offsets” by Wen-fai Fong, Anya E. Nugent, Yuxin Dong, Edo Berger, Kerry Paterson, Ryan Chornock, Andrew Levan, Peter Blanchard, Kate D. Alexander, Jennifer Andrews, Bethany E. Cobb, Antonino Cucchiara, Derek Fox, Chris L. Fryer, Alexa C. Gordon, Charles D. Kilpatrick, Ragnhild Lunnan, Raffaella Margutti, Adam Miller, Peter Milne, Matt Nicholl, Daniel Perley, Jillian Rastinejad, Alicia Rouco Escorial, Genevieve Schroeder, Nathan Smith, Nial Tanvir and Giacomo Terreran, 21 November 2022, The Astrophysical Journal.DOI: 10.3847/ 1538-4357/ ac91d0.
” Short GRB Host Galaxies II: A Legacy Sample of Redshifts, Stellar Population Properties, and Implications for their Neutron Star Merger Origins” by Anya E. Nugent, Wen-Fai Fong, Yuxin Dong, Joel Leja, Edo Berger, Michael Zevin, Ryan Chornock, Bethany E. Cobb, Luke Zoltan Kelley, Charles D. Kilpatrick, Andrew Levan, Raffaella Margutti, Kerry Paterson, Daniel Perley, Alicia Rouco Escorial, Nathan Smith and Nial Tanvir, 21 November 2022, The Astrophysical Journal.DOI: 10.3847/ 1538-4357/ ac91d1.
The studies were supported by the National Science Foundation (award numbers AST-1814782 and AST-2047919), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement.

Utilizing several highly sensitive instruments and advanced galaxy modeling, the scientists identified the galactic houses of 84 SGRBs and penetrated the attributes of 69 of the identified host galaxies. Credit: Image by W.M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko
A lot of robust inventory to date brochures SGRBs host galaxies and qualities.

A group of astronomers, led by Northwestern University, has actually developed the most comprehensive inventory to date of the galaxies where short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) come from.
Using a number of highly delicate instruments and sophisticated galaxy modeling, the scientists determined the galactic houses of 84 SGRBs and penetrated the qualities of 69 of the identified host galaxies. Amongst their findings, they discovered that about 85% of the studied SGRBs originate from young, actively star-forming galaxies.

Stars within a galaxy can give insight into the environmental conditions required to produce SGRBs and can connect the mystical bursts to their neutron-star merger origins. Prior to these new studies, astronomers identified host galaxies from only a couple dozen SGRBs. With the advantage of a much bigger dataset, the brochure reveals that SGRB host galaxies can be either star-forming and young or old and approaching death.” We think that the more youthful SGRBs we found in more youthful host galaxies come from binary excellent systems that formed in a star development burst and are so firmly bound that they can merge extremely quickly,” Nugent said. We find proof for older SGRBs in the galaxies that are much older and believe the stars in those galaxies either took a longer time to form a binary or were a binary system that was more separated.