The Host Galaxy of the Gamma-Ray Burst 971214


We report on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of the host galaxy of GRB 971214, taken 4 months after the burst. The redshift of the proposed host galaxy at z=3.418, combined with optical and radio observations of the burst afterglow, implies the extremely large isotropic energy release from the burst in γ-rays of E$_γ$åiseb ox-0.5ex 3×10$^53$ ergs, some 2 orders of magnitude higher than the previously commonly assumed numbers. The positional offset between the optical transient observed at the Keck telescope and the centroid of the proposed host galaxy in the HST image is 0.14``+/-0.07’'. We find no evidence in our deep HST image for a chance foreground galaxy superposed along the line of sight to the proposed host at z=3.418. The morphology and photometric properties of this galaxy, such as the total flux, morphology, radial surface profile, and scale length, are typical as compared to other, spectroscopically confirmed z>=3 galaxies.

Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 and on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the California Institute of Technology and the University of California.

Astrophysical Journal Letters