Back to Volume
Paper: Optical and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows at High Redshifts
Volume: 399, Panoramic Views of Galaxy Formation and Evolution
Page: 37
Authors: Kawai, N.; the Subaru GRB Team
Abstract: The gamma-ray burst (GRB) offers a unique probe of star formation, ionization and metallicity of the universe in the reionization era. Their bright afterglows in the optical or near infrared bands have the imprints of the matter in the host galaxies and the intergalactic spaces as absorption features. The afterglow of GRB 050904 at z = 6.3 observed with Subaru Telescope exhibited a spectrum with a sharp cutoff at ∼900 nm due to Lyman α absorption with a damping wing, whose profile provided a unique constraint on the ionization fraction in the universe at redshift z=6.3. The metal absorption lines allowed us to measure an accurate redshift and the metallicity. With the emerging network of small infrared telescopes responding to the GRB alerts from Swift and other satellites, there will be more opportunities to study the high-z universe with big telescopes like Subaru in the coming years.
Back to Volume