NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0205

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0205


PI: Nial Tanvir, University of Leicester, nrt3@star.le.ac.uk
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

CoI: Derek Fox, Pennsylvania State University
CoI: Bethany Cobb, The George Washington University
CoI: Edo Berger, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Andrew Levan, University of Warwick
CoI: Antonino Cucchiara, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Brad Cenko, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Daniel Perley, Caltech Astronomy
CoI: Andrew Fruchter, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Brian Schmidt, Australian National University
CoI: Kathy Roth, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Klaas Wiersema, University of Leicester

Title: Late-time Observations of Exceptional GRBs: Gemini North Standard Targets of Opportunity

Abstract: We propose to make late-time observations of gamma-ray burst (GRB) counterparts, complementary to our companion "Rapid ToO" program. High priority science goals for these "Standard ToO" observations include: (a) Afterglow and host galaxy characterization and redshift measurements for the short-duration class of GRBs, which are thought most likely to be compact binary mergers, but whose nature remains poorly understood due to their rarity and the faintness of their afterglows; (b) Late-time observations to help confirm and characterise high-redshift GRB candidates, which, led by our Gemini observations, are providing a unique new window on z>6 star formation and the reionization of the Universe; (c) Afterglow monitoring for "jet break" burst-collimation measurements, to constrain the total energy output for the highest energy bursts; (d) monitoring of low-redshift (z< 0.5) GRBs to search for photometric or spectroscopic evidence of (or place limits on) emission from accompanying supernovae; (e) Studies of serendipitous new GRB-like transients whose nature requires further observations to elucidate. We emphasise that our long-running Gemini campaign, which has allowed us to respond flexibly to rare GRB events, has been very successful and has contributed an essential legacy for Swift: late-time observations have been a key component of this.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0205

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