UVES/VLT high resolution spectroscopy of GRB 050730 afterglow: Probing the features of the GRB environment

V. D'Elia, F. Fiore, E. J.A. Meurs, G. Chincarini, A. Melandri, L. Nord, L. Pellizza, R. Perna, S. Piranomonte, L. Sbordone, L. Stella, G. Tagliaferri, S. D. Vergani, P. Ward, L. Angelini, L. A. Antonelli, D. N. Burrows, S. Campana, M. Capalbi, A. CimattiE. Costa, G. Cusumano, M. Della Valle, P. Filliatre, A. Fontana, F. Frontera, D. Fugazza, N. Gehrels, T. Giannini, P. Giommi, P. Goldoni, D. Guetta, G. Israel, D. Lazzati, D. Malesani, G. Marconi, K. Mason, S. Mereghetti, F. Mirabel, E. Molinari, A. Moretti, J. Nousek, M. Perri, L. Piro, G. Stratta, V. Testa, M. Vietri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Aims. The aim of this paper is to study the Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) environment through the analysis of the optical absorption features due to the gas surrounding the GRB. Methods. To this purpose we analyze high resolution spectroscopic observations (R = 20 000-45 000, corresponding to 14 km s -1 at 4200 Å and 6.6 km s-1 at 9000 Å) of the optical afterglow of GRB050730, obtained with UVES@VLT ∼4 h after the GRB trigger. Results. The spectrum shows that the ISM of the GRB host galaxy at z = 3.967 is complex, with at least five components contributing to the main absorption system. We detect strong C II*, Si IIz.ast;, O Iz.ast; and Fe IIz.ast; fine structure absorption lines associated to the second and third component. Conclusions. For the first three components we derive information on the relative distance from the site of the GRB explosion. Component 1, which has the longest wavelength, highest positive velocity shift, does not present any fine structure nor low ionization lines; it only shows very high ionization features, such as CIV and O VI, suggesting that this component is very close to the GRB site. From the analysis of low and high ionization lines and fine structure lines, we find evidences that the distance of component 2 from the site of the GRB explosion is 10-100 times smaller than that of component 3. We evaluated the mean metallicity of the z = 3.967 system obtaining values ≈10-2 of the solar metallicity or less. However, this should not be taken as representative of the circumburst medium, since the main contribution to the hydrogen column density comes from the outer regions of the galaxy while that of the other elements presumably comes from the ISM closer to the GRB site. Furthermore, difficulties in evaluating dust depletion correction can modify significantly these values. The mean [C/Fe] ratio agrees well with that expected by single star-formation event models. Interestingly the [C/Fe] of component 2 is smaller than that of component 3, in agreement with GRB dust destruction scenarios, if component 2 is closer than component 3 to the GRB site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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