NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0533

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0533


PI: Derek Fox, Pennsylvania State University, dfox@astro.psu.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA, 16802, USA

CoI: Edo Berger, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Shrinivas Kulkarni, Caltech Astronomy
CoI: Kathy Roth, Gemini Observatory - North
CoI: Robert Rutledge, McGill University
CoI: Philipp Podsiadlowski, Oxford University
CoI: Wen-fai Fong, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Tanmoy Laskar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Ryan Chornock, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Alicia Soderberg, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Christian Wolf, Oxford University
CoI: Bryan Penprase, Pomona College
CoI: Ryan Foley, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Gamma-Ray Bursts: From Progenitors to Probes

Abstract: GRB astronomy is focused on two goals - understanding the physics and progenitors of the bursts and using them as probes of the high-redshift universe. This proposal addresses both goals. We will undertake rapid imaging and spectroscopy of short-duration GRBs to directly measure their redshifts and environments. These observations will zero in on the identity of the progenitors and the energy extraction mechanism, and will test possible progenitor ejections from their host galaxies, a prediction of the popular binary neutron star merger model. In addition, we will use our automated Gemini trigger to obtain adaptive izJHK imaging and spectroscopy of all rapidly-observable GRBs, to identify and characterize z>6 events. Using this approach we identified GRB090423 at z=8.26 with Gemini. Spectroscopy of these bursts will constrain re-ionization through the IGM neutral fraction, and probe the ISM of the highest redshift galaxies. At z<6 we will continue our use of GRBs to probe the ISM of damped Lyman-alpha systems, combined with follow-up Spitzer/Keck/Magellan observations.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0533

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