The host galaxy and optical light curve of the gamma-ray burst GRB 980703

S. Holland, J.P.U. Fynbo, J. Hjorth, J. Gorosabel, H. Pedersen, M.I. Andersen, A. Dar, Bente Thomsen, Per Møller, G. Bjornsson, A.O. Jaunsen, P. Natarajan, N. Tanvir

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    We present deep HST/STIS and ground-based photometry of the host galaxy of the gamma-ray burst GRB 980703 taken 17, 551, 710, and 716 days after the burst. We find that the host is a blue, slightly over-luminous galaxy with V-gal = 23.00 +/-0.10, (V - R)(gal) = 0.43 +/-0.13, and a centre that is approximate to0.2 mag bluer than the outer regions of the galaxy. The galaxy has a star-formation rate of 8-13 M-circle dot yr(-1), assuming no extinction in the host. We find that the galaxy is best fit by a Sersic R-1/n profile with n approximate to 1.0 and a half-light radius of 0." 13 (= 0:72h(100)(-1) proper kpc.) This corresponds to an exponential disk with a scale radius of 0." 22 (= 1.21h(100)(-1) proper kpc). Subtracting a fit with elliptical isophotes leaves large residuals, which suggests that the host galaxy has a somewhat irregular morphology, but we are unable to connect the location of GRB 980703 with any special features in the host. The host galaxy appears to be a typical example of a compact star forming galaxy similar to those found in the Hubble Deep Field North. The R-band light curve of the optical afterglow associated with this gamma-ray burst is consistent with a single power-law decay having a slope of alpha = 1.37 +/-0.14. Due to the bright underlying host galaxy the late time properties of the light-curve are very poorly constrained. The decay of the optical light curve is consistent with a contribution from an underlying type Ic supernova like SN1998bw, or a dust echo, but such contributions cannot be securely established.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)52-60
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • gamma rays : bursts
    • galaxies : structure
    • supernovae : individual galaxies : individual galaxies : photometry

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