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

Fruchter, AS and Levan, AJ and Strolger, L and Vreeswijk, PM and Thorsett, SE and Bersier, D and Burud, I and Castro Ceron, JM and Castro-Tirado, AJ and Conselice, C and Dahlen, T and Ferguson, HC and Fynbo, JPU and Garnavich, PM and Gibbons, RA and Gorosabel, J and Gull, TR and Hjorth, J and Holland, ST and Kouveliotou, C and Levay, Z and Livio, M and Metzger, MR and Nugent, PE and Petro, L and Pian, E and Rhoads, JE and Riess, AG and Sahu, KC and Smette, A and Tanvir, NR and 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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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: 06 Sep 2017 21:52
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/nature04787
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4882

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