Stéphanie Courty, Gunnlaugur Björnsson & Einar H. Guðmundsson

Móttekin: 15. september 2004 - Vefútgáfa: 30. nóvember 2004


Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic events in the universe and can therefore be seen at large cosmological distances. According to present theoretical understanding, at least some of the bursts result from the core collapse and explosion of massive stars. Since massive stars are found in star forming regions, GRBs and by extension their host galaxies, are considered to be an important tool for understanding the formation and cosmological evolution of galaxies. The scenario of galaxy formation involves the basic idea that gravitating dark matter creates a network of overdense structures into which the baryonic matter is accreted and then cools to form stars and galaxies. Using numerical simulations able to reproduce such a scenario, we investigate the nature of GRB host galaxies and show that these are objects of rather low luminosity. As a result GRBs appear to be an efficient tool to trace galaxies which are otherwise difficult to detect.

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