NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0421

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0421


PI: Bethany Cobb, UC Berkeley (Astronomy), bcobb@astro.berkeley.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411, USA

CoI: Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Brad Cenko, UC Berkeley (Astronomy
CoI: Daniel Perley, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Hsiao-Wen Chen, University of Chicago
CoI: Jason X Prochaska, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Karl Glazebrook, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Chris Matzner, University of Toronto
CoI: Sebastian Lopez, Universidad de Chile
CoI: Max Pettini, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
CoI: Andrew Bunker, Oxford
CoI: Adam Morgan, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Maryam Modjaz, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Dovi Poznanski, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Charles Bailyn, Yale University
CoI: Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Nat Butler, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Adam Miller, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)

Title: Exceptional Swift and Fermi GRBs: Gemini North Targets of Opportunity

Abstract: Swift and Fermi have led a renaissance in the study of GRBs, discovering an unprecedented number of events and promptly alerting the community to accurate localizations. However, it is in the follow-up, particularly at optical/infrared (OIR) wavebands, where the full scientific potential of these missions is realized. We propose to use the OIR instrument suite on both Gemini telescopes in a concerted effort to rapidly observe new GRBs. Our focus is on the extrema and rarities that hold the greatest potential as unique probes of the universe and stellar death: 1) high-redshift events (z > 6), offering spectroscopic probes of the universe during reionization, 2) low-redshift events (z < 1), allowing searches for and detailed studies of accompanying supernovae, 3) Fermi-LAT bursts, which require redshift measurements in order to constrain theories of quantum gravity and place limits on the Lorentz factor of the outflow and, (4) short GRBs, with the goal of constraining their still-mysterious progenitors. Gemini has emerged as the cornerstone facility of our group's GRB research and we will continue to use our proprietary access on smaller facilities to maximize the return of Gemini observations.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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