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Post Info TOPIC: GRB 080607


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RE: GRB 080607
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Astronomers combining data from NASA's Swift satellite, the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and other facilities have, for the first time, identified gas molecules in the host galaxy of a gamma-ray burst (GRB).
The explosion, designated GRB 080607, occurred in June 2008.

"This burst gave us the opportunity to 'taste' the star-forming gas in a young galaxy more than 11 billion light-years away" - Professor Xavier Prochaska, University of California, Santa Cruz.


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Swift Observations of GRB 080607

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Position(J2000): RA= 12 59 47.15, Dec = +15 55 09.9

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The brilliant afterglow of a powerful gamma-ray burst (GRB) has enabled astronomers to probe the star-forming environment of a distant galaxy, resulting in the first detection of molecular gas in a GRB host galaxy. By analysing the spectrum of light emitted in the GRB afterglow, the researchers are gleaning insights into an active stellar nursery in a galaxy so far away it appears as it was 10 billion years ago.

"This observation required a rare and exceptionally bright event to allow us to probe the fragile environment where stars were forming just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. After correcting for the extreme dust extinction, this is intrinsically the second brightest GRB afterglow to date; it would have been easily observed with amateur telescopes, if not for the dust in the way" - Jason X. Prochaska, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Prochaska's team will present its findings at the American Astronomical Society meeting this week in Long Beach, California. A paper describing the results has been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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