The HETE-2 mission has been highly productive. It has observed more than 250 GRBs so far. It is currently localizing 25 - 30 GRBs per year, and has localized 43 GRBs to date. Twenty-one of these localizations have led to the detection of X-ray, optical, or radio afterglows, and as of now, 11 of the bursts with afterglows have known redshifts. HETE-2 has confirmed the connection between GRBs and Type le supernovae, a singular achievement and certainly one of the scientific highlights of the mission so far. It has provided evidence that the isotropic-equivalent energies and luminosities of GRBs are correlated with redshift, implying that GRBs and their progenitors evolve strongly with redshift. Both of these results have profound implications for the nature of GRB progenitors and for the use of GRBs as a probe of cosmology and the early universe. HETE-2 has placed severe constraints on any X-ray or optical afterglow of a short GRB. It is also solving the mystery of "optically dark" GRBs, and revealing the nature of X-ray flashes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics