The star formation rate in the reionization era as indicated by gamma-ray bursts

Matthew D. Kistler, Hasan Yüksel, John F. Beacom, Andrew M. Hopkins, J. Stuart B Wyithe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-redshift gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) offer an extraordinary opportunity to study aspects of the early universe, including the cosmic star formation rate (SFR). Motivated by the two recent highest-z GRBs, GRB 080913 at z ≃ 6.7 and GRB 090423 at z ≃ 8.1, and more than four years of Swift observations, we first confirm that the GRB rate does not trace the SFR in an unbiased way. Correcting for this, we find that the implied SFR to beyond z = 8 is consistent with Lyman Break Galaxy-based measurements after accounting for unseen galaxies at the faint end of the UV luminosity function. We show that this provides support for the integrated star formation in the range 6 ≲ z ≲ 8 to have been alone sufficient to reionize the universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L104-L108
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume705
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Stars: formation

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