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Title:
Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of the Optical Transient Associated with GRB 970508
Authors:
PIAN, E.; FRUCHTER, A. S.; BERGERON, L. E.; THORSETT, S. E.; FRONTERA, F.; TAVANI, M.; COSTA, E.; FEROCI, M.; HALPERN, J.; LUCAS, R. A.; NICASTRO, L.; PALAZZI, E.; PIRO, L.; SPARKS, W.; CASTRO-TIRADO, A. J.; GULL, T.; HURLEY, K.; PEDERSEN, H.
Journal:
Astrophysical Journal Letters v.492, p.L103
Publication Date:
01/1998
Origin:
APJ
ApJ Keywords:
COSMOLOGY: OBSERVATIONS, GALAXIES: STARBURST, GAMMA RAYS: BURSTS, STARS: FORMATION
Abstract Copyright:
(c) 1998: The American Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:
1998ApJ...492L.103P

Abstract

We report on Hubble Space Telescope observations of the optical transient (OT) discovered in the error box of the gamma-ray burst GRB 970508. The object was imaged on 1997 June 2 with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Near-Infrared Camera and Multiobject Spectrometer. The observations reveal a pointlike source with R = 23.1+/-0.2 and H = 20.6+/-0.3 , in agreement with the power-law temporal decay seen in ground-based monitoring. Unlike the case of GRB 970228, no nebulosity is detected surrounding the OT of GRB 970508. We set very conservative upper limits of R~24.5 and H~22.2 on the brightness of any underlying extended source. If this subtends a substantial fraction of an arcsecond, then the R-band limit is ~25.5. In combination with Keck spectra that show Mg I absorption and [O II] emission at a redshift of z=0.835 , our observations suggest that the OT is located in a star-forming galaxy with total luminosity 1 order of magnitude lower than the knee of the galaxy luminosity function, L^{*} . Such galaxies are now thought to harbor the majority of star formation at z~1 ; therefore, these observations may provide support for a link between GRBs and star formation.

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