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The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxy Legacy Survey. I. Sample Selection and Redshift DistributionWe introduce the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxy Legacy Survey (SHOALS), a multi-observatory high redshift galaxy survey targeting the largest unbiased sample of long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) hosts yet assembled (119 in total). We describe the motivations of the survey and the development of our selection criteria, including an assessment of the impact of various observability metrics on the success rate of afterglow-based redshift measurement. We briefly outline our host galaxy observational program, consisting of deep Spitzer/IRAC imaging of every field supplemented by similarly deep, multicolor optical/near-IR photometry, plus spectroscopy of events without preexisting redshifts. Our optimized selection cuts combined with host galaxy follow-up have so far enabled redshift measurements for 110 targets (92%) and placed upper limits on all but one of the remainder. About 20% of GRBs in the sample are heavily dust obscured, and at most 2% originate from z > 5.5. Using this sample, we estimate the redshift-dependent GRB rate density, showing it to peak at z approx. 2.5 and fall by at least an order of magnitude toward low (z = 0) redshift, while declining more gradually toward high (z approx. 7) redshift. This behavior is consistent with a progenitor whose formation efficiency varies modestly over cosmic history. Our survey will permit the most detailed examination to date of the connection between the GRB host population and general star-forming galaxies, directly measure evolution in the host population over cosmic time and discern its causes, and provide new constraints on the fraction of cosmic star formation occurring in undetectable galaxies at all redshifts.
Document ID
20170003347
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Perley, D. A. (Copenhagen Univ. Denmark)
Kruhler, T. (European Southern Observatory Santiago, Chile)
Schulze, S. (Universidad Catolica de Chile Santiago, Chile)
Postigo, A. De Ugarte (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Granada, Spain)
Hjorth, J. (Copenhagen Univ. Denmark)
Berger, E. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA, United States)
Cenko, S. B. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Chary, R. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Cucchiara, A. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Ellis, R. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Fong, W. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Fynbo, J. P. U. (Copenhagen Univ. Denmark)
Gorosabel, J. (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Granada, Spain)
Greiner, J. (Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Extraterrestrische Physik Garching, Germany)
Jakobsson, P. (Iceland Univ. Reykjavik, Iceland)
Kim, S. (Universidad Catolica de Chile Santiago, Chile)
Laskar, T. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA, United States)
Levan, A. J. (Warwick Univ. Coventry, United Kingdom)
Michałowski, M. J. (Edinburgh Univ. United Kingdom)
Milvang-Jensen, B. (Copenhagen Univ. Denmark)
Tanvir, N. R. (Leicester Univ. United Kingdom)
Thoene, C. C. (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Granada, Spain)
Wiersema, K. (Leicester Univ. United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
April 11, 2017
Publication Date
January 19, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 817
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Astrophysics
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN41447
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS5-26555
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
galaxies: evolution – galaxies: high-redshift – galaxies: star formation –