Space Science Reviews

, Volume 202, Issue 1–4, pp 111–142 | Cite as

Long-Duration Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxies in Emission and Absorption

  • Daniel A. PerleyEmail author
  • Yuu Niino
  • Nial R. Tanvir
  • Susanna D. Vergani
  • Johan P. U. Fynbo


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.


Gamma-ray bursts Interstellar medium Dust High-redshift galaxies 



The authors would like to thank the organizers of the “Gamma-Ray Bursts—A Tool to Explore the Young Universe” workshop (in particular Diego Götz and Maurizio Falanga) for a stimulating and productive conference and for their excellent hospitality.

Research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant agreement no. EGGS-278202.

Susanna D. Vergani would like to thank Patrick Petitjean for accepting the duty of presenting her contribution at the ISSI-BJ meeting.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Division of Optical & Infrared AstronomyNational Astronomical Observatory of JapanMitakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  4. 4.GEPI, Observatoire de ParisPSL Research University, CNRS, Univ. Paris DiderotMeudonFrance

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