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Long gamma-ray bursts and core-collapse supernovae have different environments

Fruchter, AS, Levan, AJ, Strolger, L, Vreeswijk, PM, Thorsett, SE, Bersier, D, Burud, I, Castro Ceron, JM, Castro-Tirado, AJ, Conselice, C, Dahlen, T, Ferguson, HC, Fynbo, JPU, Garnavich, PM, Gibbons, RA, Gorosabel, J, Gull, TR, Hjorth, J, Holland, ST, Kouveliotou, C , Levay, Z, Livio, M, Metzger, MR, Nugent, PE, Petro, L, Pian, E, Rhoads, JE, Riess, AG, Sahu, KC, Smette, A, Tanvir, NR, Wijers, RAMJ and Woosley, SE (2006) Long gamma-ray bursts and core-collapse supernovae have different environments. Nature, 441. pp. 463-468. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

When massive stars exhaust their fuel, they collapse and often produce the extraordinarily bright explosions known as core-collapse supernovae. On occasion, this stellar collapse also powers an even more brilliant relativistic explosion known as a long-duration g-ray burst. One would then expect that these long g-ray bursts and core-collapse supernovae should be found in similar galactic environments. Here we show that this expectation is wrong. We find that the g-ray bursts are far more concentrated in the very brightest regions of their host galaxies than are the core-collapse supernovae. Furthermore, the host galaxies of the long g-ray bursts are significantly fainter and more irregular than the hosts of the core-collapse supernovae. Together these results suggest that long-duration g-ray bursts are associated with the most extremely massive stars and may be restricted to galaxies of limited chemical evolution. Our results directly imply that long g-ray bursts are relatively rare in galaxies such as our own Milky Way.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 11:53
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2018 05:37
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/nature04787
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4882

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