A photometric redshift of z = 6.39 ± 0.12 for GRB 050904

J. B. Haislip, M. C. Nysewander, D. E. Reichart, A. Levan, N. Tanvir, S. B. Cenko, D. B. Fox, P. A. Price, A. J. Castro-Tirado, J. Gorosabel, C. R. Evans, E. Figueredo, C. L. MacLeod, J. R. Kirschbrown, M. Jelinek, S. Guziy, A. De Ugarte Postigo, E. S. Cypriano, A. LaCluyze, J. GrahamR. Priddey, R. Chapman, J. Rhoads, A. S. Fruchter, D. Q. Lamb, C. Kouveliotou, R. A.M.J. Wijers, M. B. Bayliss, B. P. Schmidt, A. M. Soderberg, S. R. Kulkarni, F. A. Harrison, D. S. Moon, A. Gal-Yam, M. M. Kasliwal, R. Hudec, S. Vitek, P. Kubanek, J. A. Crain, A. C. Foster, J. C. Clemens, J. W. Bartelme, R. Canterna, D. H. Hartmann, A. A. Henden, S. Klose, H. S. Park, G. G. Williams, E. Rol, P. O'Brien, D. Bersier, F. Prada, S. Pizarro, D. Maturana, P. Ugarte, A. Alvarez, A. J.M. Fernandez, M. J. Jarvis, M. Moles, E. Alfaro, K. M. Ivarsen, N. D. Kumar, C. E. Mack, C. M. Zdarowicz, N. Gehrels, S. Barthelmy, D. N. Burrows

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Abstract

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and their afterglows are the most brilliant transient events in the Universe. Both the bursts themselves and their afterglows have been predicted to be visible out to redshifts of z ≈ 20, and therefore to be powerful probes of the early Universe1,2. The burst GRB 000131, at z = 4.50, was hitherto the most distant such event identified3. Here we report the discovery of the bright near-infrared afterglow of GRB 050904 (ref. 4). From our measurements of the near-infrared afterglow, and our failure to detect the optical afterglow, we determine the photometric redshift of the burst to be z = 6.39-0.12+0.11 (refs 5-7). Subsequently, it was measured8 spectroscopically to be z = 6.29 ± 0.01, in agreement with our photometric estimate. These results demonstrate that GRBs can be used to trace the star formation, metallicity, and reionization histories of the early Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-183
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume440
Issue number7081
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2006
Externally publishedYes

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    Haislip, J. B., Nysewander, M. C., Reichart, D. E., Levan, A., Tanvir, N., Cenko, S. B., Fox, D. B., Price, P. A., Castro-Tirado, A. J., Gorosabel, J., Evans, C. R., Figueredo, E., MacLeod, C. L., Kirschbrown, J. R., Jelinek, M., Guziy, S., De Ugarte Postigo, A., Cypriano, E. S., LaCluyze, A., ... Burrows, D. N. (2006). A photometric redshift of z = 6.39 ± 0.12 for GRB 050904. Nature, 440(7081), 181-183. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04552