The Interstellar Medium of Gamma-Ray Burst Host Galaxies. I. Echelle Spectra of Swift GRB Afterglows


We present optical echelle spectra of four gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows (GRB 050730, GRB 050820, GRB 051111, and GRB 060418) discovered during the first 1.5 yr of operation of the Swift satellite and localized by either the Swift telescope or follow- up ground-based imaging. We analyze the spectra to derive accurate column density measurements for the transitions arising in the interstellar medium (ISM) of the GRB host galaxies. These measurements can be used to constrain the physical properties of the ISM, including the metallicity, dust-to-gas ratio, ionization state, and chemical abundances of the gas. We also present measurements of the strong Mg II systems in the GRB afterglow spectra. With the publication of this paper, we provide the first data release of echelle afterglow spectra by the GRAASP collaboration to the general community.

Astrophysical Journal Supp.