- Gamma-Ray Bursts as Cosmological Probes: from Concept to Reality
- The Messenger
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We describe the current status and recent results from our ongoing programme at the VLT aimed at performing target-of-opportunity follow-up spectroscopy of gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Our primary goal is to secure redshifts for a complete sample of GRBs, thereby allowing the use of GRBs as probes of the cosmic star-formation history, chemical evolution and the luminosity functions of the GRBs themselves as well as their host galaxies. Contrary to earlier expectations, most optical afterglows are already faint a few hours after the bursts and 8-10-m telescopes are therefore crucial to determine redshifts for most GRBs.