The galaxy population hosting long-duration GRBs provides a means to constrain the progenitor and an opportunity to use these violent explosions to characterize the nature of the high-redshift universe. Studies of GRB host galaxies in emission reveal a population of star-forming galaxies with great diversity, spanning a wide range of masses, metallicities, and redshifts. However, as a population GRB hosts are significantly less massive and poorer in metals than the hosts of other core-collapse transients, suggesting that GRB production is only efficient at metallicities significantly below Solar. GRBs may also prefer compact galaxies, and dense and/or central regions of galaxies, more than other types of core-collapse explosion. Meanwhile, studies of hosts in absorption against the luminous GRB optical afterglow provide a unique means of unveiling properties of the ISM in even the faintest and most distant galaxies; these observations are helping to constrain the chemical evolution of galaxies and the properties of interstellar dust out to very high redshifts. New ground- and space-based instrumentation, and the accumulation of larger and more carefully-selected samples, are continually enhancing our view of the GRB host population.
Space Science Reviews
- Pub Date:
- December 2016
- Gamma-ray bursts;
- Interstellar medium;
- High-redshift galaxies;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Invited review accepted to SSR. Part of a special edition on gamma-ray bursts accompanying the ISSI-Beijing workshop, "Gamma-Ray Bursts: A Tool to Explore the Young Universe"