GRB 080913 at Redshift 6.7

J. Greiner, T. Krühler, J.~P.~U. Fynbo, A. Rossi, R. Schwarz, S. Klose, S. Savaglio, N.~R. Tanvir, S. McBreen, T. Totani, B.~B. Zhang, X.~F. Wu, D. Watson, S.~D. Barthelmy, A.~P. Beardmore, P. Ferrero, N. Gehrels, D.~A. Kann, N. Kawai, A. Küpcü YoldașP. Mészáros, B. Milvang-Jensen, S.~R. Oates, D. Pierini, P. Schady, K. Toma, P.~M. Vreeswijk, A. Yoldaș, B. Zhang, P. Afonso, K. Aoki, D.~N. Burrows, C. Clemens, R. Filgas, Z. Haiman, D.~H. Hartmann, G. Hasinger, J. Hjorth, E. Jehin, A.~J. Levan, E.~W. Liang, D. Malesani, T. -S. Pyo, S. Schulze, G. Szokoly, K. Terada, K. Wiersema

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199 Citations (SciVal)


We report on the detection by Swift of GRB 080913, and subsequent optical/near-infrared follow-up observations by GROND, which led to the discovery of its optical/NIR afterglow and the recognition of its high-z nature via the detection of a spectral break between the i' and z' bands. Spectroscopy obtained at the ESO-VLT revealed a continuum extending down to λ = 9400 Å, and zero flux for 7500 Å<λ < 9400 Å, which we interpret as the onset of a Gunn-Peterson trough at z = 6.695± 0.025 (95.5% confidence level), making GRB 080913 the highest-redshift gamma-ray burst (GRB) to date, and more distant than the highest-redshift QSO. We note that many redshift indicators that are based on promptly available burst or afterglow properties have failed for GRB 080913. We report on our follow-up campaign and compare the properties of GRB 080913 with bursts at lower redshift. In particular, since the afterglow of this burst is fainter than typical for GRBs, we show that 2 m class telescopes can identify most high-redshift GRBs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1620
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2009


  • early universe, gamma rays: bursts, radiation mechanisms: non-thermal, Astrophysics


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