NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0157

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Program Information for 2017B-0157


PI: Antonino Cucchiara, University of the Virgin Islands, antonino.cucchiara@uvi.edu
Address: University of the Virgin Islands, College of Science and Mathematics, #2 Brewers Bay road, St. Thomas, USVI 00802 USA

CoI: Stephen Cenko, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
CoI: Edo Berger, Harvard U.
CoI: Ryan Chornock, University of Ohio
CoI: Bethany Cobb, George Washington University
CoI: Wen-fai Fong, U. of Arizona
CoI: Andy Fruchter, STScI
CoI: Andrew Levan, University of Warwick
CoI: Daniel Perley, Liverpool John Moores University
CoI: Nial Tanvir, University of Leicester

Title: High-Redshift Gamma-Ray Bursts as Probes of Cosmic Dawn

Abstract: Understanding the nature of the first stars and galaxies, the so-called epoch of "cosmic dawn", remains one of the foremost goals of modern astronomy. Due to their remarkable (though short-lived) luminosities, long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) offer a unique probe of this critical epoch in the evolution of the universe. Thanks largely to Gemini key observations, our group has demonstrated that GRBs do indeed explode at these redshifts, and provided comparable constraints on the neutral H fraction at z ~ 6 as the entire ensemble population of quasars. Here we aim to identify further events at 5>z > 8, and (via absorption spectroscopy) to measure the neutral H fraction and gas phase metallicity of GRB host galaxies at redshifts relevant for reionization for the first time. This search is particularly timing, since the approaching launch of JWST and the possibility to identify z>7 GRB hosts, which may be among the most active, and elusive, sources of re-ionization.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 9.23hrs band 1 (GN-2017B-Q-7)
Run 2 (2017B):  GEM-SQ/Flamingos2 -- 5.77hrs band 1 (GS-2017B-Q-9)


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 >   2017B-0157

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