Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Afterglow Era

Part of the series ESO ASTROPHYSICS SYMPOSIA pp 133-135


Hunting Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Lyman-Forest; GRB 000131 at z = 4.501

  • Michael I. AndersenAffiliated withDivision of Astronomy, University of Oulu
  • , Jens HjorthAffiliated withAstronomical Observatory, University of Copenhagen
  • , Holger PedersenAffiliated withAstronomical Observatory, University of Copenhagen
  • , Brian L. JensenAffiliated withAstronomical Observatory, University of Copenhagen
  • , Leslie K. HuntAffiliated withCentro per l’Astronomia Infrarossa e lo Studio del Mezzo Interstellare, CNR
  • , Javier GorosabelAffiliated withDanish Space Research Institute
  • , Palle MøllerAffiliated withEuropean Southern Observatory
  • , Johan FynboAffiliated withEuropean Southern Observatory
  • , Bjarne ThomsenAffiliated withInstitute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Århus C, Denmark

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We report the discovery and follow-up observations of the afterglow of GRB 000131. The optical identification was made with the VLT, 84 hours after the burst following a BATSE detection and an Inter Planetary Network localization. Broadband and spectroscopic observations of the spectralenergy distribution reveals a sharp break at optical wavelengths which is interpreted as a Ly\(\alpha\) absorption edge at 6700 Å. This places GRB 000131 at a redshift of \(4.500 \pm 0.015\).

  • Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla and Paranal, Chile (ESO Programmes 64.H-0573, 64.H-0580, 64.O-0187, and 64.H-0313)