Late-time observations of GRB 080319B: Jet break, host galaxy, and accompanying supernova

N. R. Tanvir, E. Rol, A. J. Levan, K. Svensson, A. S. Fruchter, J. Granot, P. T. O'Brien, K. Wiersema, R. L.C. Starling, P. Jakobsson, J. Fynbo, J. Hjorth, P. A. Curran, A. J. Van Der Horst, C.Kouveliotou, J. L. Racusin, D. N. Burrows, F. Genet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Swift-discovered GRB 080319B was by far the most distant source ever observed at naked-eye brightness, reaching a peak apparent magnitude of 5.3 at a redshift of z = 0.937. We present our late-time optical (Hubble Space Telescope, Gemini, and Very Large Telescope) and X-ray (Chandra) observations, which confirm that an achromatic break occurred in the power-law afterglow light curve at ∼ 11 days post-burst. This most likely indicates that the gamma-ray burst (GRB) outflow was collimated, which for a uniform jet would imply a total energy in the jet Ejet ≲ 1052 erg. Our observations also show a late-time excess of red light, which is well explained if the GRB was accompanied by a supernova (SN), similar to those seen in some other long-duration GRBs. The latest observations are dominated by light from the host and show that the GRB took place in a faint dwarf galaxy (r(AB) ≈ 27.0, rest frame MB ≈ ?17.2). This galaxy is small even by the standards of other GRB hosts, which is suggestive of a low-metallicity environment. Intriguingly, the properties of this extreme event-a small host and bright SN-are entirely typical of the very low luminosity bursts such as GRB 980425 and GRB 060218.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Gamma-ray burst: individual (GRB 080319B)
  • Supernovae: individual Online-only material: color figures


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