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STScI Preprint #1205

The Gamma Ray Bursts GRB970228 and GRB970508: What have we learnt?

Authors: Mario Livio1, Kailash C. Sahu1, Larry Petro1, Andrew Fruchter1, Elena Pian2, F. Duccio Macchetto1, Jan van Paradijs3,4, Chryssa Kouveliotou5, Paul J. Groot3, Titus J. Galama3
We examine what we regard as key observational results on GRB 970228 and GRB 970508 and show that the accumulated evidence strongly suggests that -ray bursts (GRBs) are cosmological fireballs.

We further show that the observations suggest that GRBs are not associated with the nuclear activity of active galactic nuclei, and that late-type galaxies are more prolific producers of GRBs.

We suggest that GRBs can be used to trace the cosmic history of the star-formation rate. Finally, we show that the GRB locations with respect to the star-forming regions in their host galaxies and the total burst energies can be used to distinguish between different theoretical models for GRBs.

Appeared in: Huntsville Symposium on Gamma-Ray Bursts 4:483-488, 1998

1) Space Telescope Science Institute 3700 San Martin Drive Baltimore, MD 21218 USA
2) Instituto di Technologie e Studio delle Radiazioni Extraterrestri C.N.R., Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
3) Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", University of Amsterdam, & Center for High Energy Astrophysics, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4) Physics Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
5) Universities Space Research Association, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, ES-84, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA
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Last updated, December 18, 1997