Journal Article

The host galaxies of core-collapse supernovae and gamma-ray bursts

K. M. Svensson, A. J. Levan, N. R. Tanvir, A. S. Fruchter and L.-G. Strolger

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 405, issue 1, pages 57-76
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The host galaxies of core-collapse supernovae and gamma-ray bursts

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We present a comparative study of the galactic and small-scale environments of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe). We use a sample of 34 GRB hosts at z < 1.2, and a comparison sample of 58 supernova hosts located within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey footprint. We fit template spectra to the available photometric data, which span the range 0.45–24 μm, and extract absolute magnitudes, stellar masses and star formation rates from the resulting fits. Our results broadly corroborate previous findings, but offer significant enhancements in spectral coverage and a factor 2–3 increase in sample size. Specifically, we find that CCSNe occur frequently in massive spirals (spiral fraction ∼50 per cent). In contrast GRBs occur in small, relatively low mass galaxies with high specific and surface star formation rates, and have a spiral fraction of only ∼10 per cent. A comparison of the rest-frame absolute magnitudes of the GRB and CCSN sample is less conclusive than found in previous work, suggesting that while GRB hosts are typically both smaller and bluer than those of CCSN their total blue light luminosities are only slightly lower. We suggest this is likely due to rapid periods of intensified star formation activity, as indicated by the high specific SFRs, which both create the GRB progenitors and briefly significantly enhance the host galaxy blue luminosity. Finally, our analysis of local environments of GRBs and CCSNe shows that GRBs are highly concentrated on their host light, and further occur in regions of higher absolute surface luminosity than CCSNe.

Keywords: gamma-ray burst: general; supernovae: general; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; cosmology: observations

Journal Article.  12909 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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