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SCUBA sub-millimeter observations of gamma-ray bursters - II. GRB 991208, 991216, 000301C, 000630, 000911, 000926

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posted on 2012-10-24, 09:05 authored by I. A. Smith, R. P. J. Tilanus, R. A. M. J. Wijers, N. Tanvir, P. Vreeswijk, E. Rol, C. Kouveliotou
We discuss our ongoing program of Target of Opportunity sub-millimeter observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) using the Sub-millimetre Common-User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). Sub-millimeter observations of the early afterglows are of interest because this is where the emission peaks in some bursts in the days to weeks following the burst. Of increasing interest is to look for underlying quiescent sub-millimeter sources that may be dusty star-forming host galaxies. In this paper, we present observations of GRB 991208, 991216, 000301C, 000630, 000911, and 000926. For all these bursts, any sub-millimeter emission is consistent with coming from the afterglow. This means that we did not conclusively detect quiescent sub-millimeter counterparts to any of the bursts that were studied from 1997 through 2000. The inferred star formation rates ( $M \ge 5 M_{\odot}$) are typically $\lesssim$ $300 M_{\odot} {\rm yr}^{-1}$. If GRBs are due to the explosions of high-mass stars, this may indicate that the relatively small population of extremely luminous dusty galaxies does not dominate the total star formation in the universe at early epochs. Instead, the GRBs may be predominantly tracing slightly lower luminosity galaxies. The optical faintness of some host galaxies is unlikely to be explained as due to dust absorption in the host.



Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2001, 380 (1), pp. 81-89


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