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|Title:||VLT/X-Shooter spectroscopy of the afterglow of the Swift GRB 130606A. Chemical abundances and reionisation at z ~ 6||Authors:||Hartoog, O. E.
Fynbo, J. P. U.
Vreeswijk, P. M.
De Cia, A.
Krogager, J. -K.
Levan, A. J.
Tanvir, N. R.
de Ugarte Postigo, A.
Vergani, S. D.
|Issue Date:||2015||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||580||First Page:||A139||Abstract:||Context. The reionisation of the Universe is a process that is thought to have ended around z ~ 6, as inferred from spectroscopy of distant bright background sources, such as quasars (QSO) and gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Furthermore, spectroscopy of a GRB afterglow provides insight in its host galaxy, which is often too dim and distant to study otherwise. <BR /> Aims: For the Swift GRB 130606A at z = 5.913 we have obtained a high S/N spectrum covering the full optical and near-IR wavelength region at intermediate spectral resolution with VLT/X-Shooter. We aim to measure the degree of ionisation of the intergalactic medium (IGM) between z = 5.02-5.84 and to study the chemical abundance pattern and dust content of its host galaxy. <BR /> Methods: We estimated the UV continuum of the GRB afterglow using a power-law extrapolation, then measured the flux decrement due to absorption at Lyα,β, and γ wavelength regions. Furthermore, we fitted the shape of the red damping wing of Lyα. The hydrogen and metal absorption lines formed in the host galaxy were fitted with Voigt profiles to obtain column densities. We investigated whether ionisation corrections needed to be applied. <BR /> Results: Our measurements of the Lyα-forest optical depth are consistent with previous measurements of QSOs, but have a much smaller uncertainty. The analysis of the red damping wing yields a neutral fraction x<SUB>H i</SUB>< 0.05 (3σ). We obtain column density measurements of H, Al, Si, and Fe; for C, O, S and Ni we obtain limits. The ionisation due to the GRB is estimated to be negligible (corrections <0.03 dex), but larger corrections may apply due to the pre-existing radiation field (up to 0.4 dex based on sub-DLA studies). Assuming that [ Si/Fe ] = +0.79 ± 0.13 is due to dust depletion, the dust-to-metal ratio is similar to the Galactic value. <BR /> Conclusions: Our measurements confirm that the Universe is already predominantly ionised over the redshift range probed in this work, but was slightly more neutral at z> 5.6. GRBs are useful probes of the ionisation state of the IGM in the early Universe, but because of internal scatter we need a larger statistical sample to draw robust conclusions. The high [Si/Fe] in the host can be due to dust depletion, α-element enhancement, or a combination of both. The very high value of [ Al/Fe ] = 2.40 ± 0.78 might be due to a proton capture process and is probably connected to the stellar population history. We estimate the host metallicity to be -1.7 < [ M/H ] < -0.9 (2%-13% of solar). <P />Based on observations carried out under prog. ID 091.C-0934(C) with the X-Shooter spectrograph installed at the Cassegrain focus of the Very Large Telescope (VLT), Unit 2 - Kueyen, operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Cerro Paranal, Chile. Partly based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. Partly based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, under programme A26TAC_63.Appendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201425001/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A>The reduced spectrum (FITS file) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://18.104.22.168) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/580/A139">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/580/A139||Acknowledgments:||We thank the anonymous referee for careful inspection of the manuscript and constructive comments. We thank Max Pettini, Darach Watson, Georges Meynet, and Tomonori Totani for helpful discussions. We thank Andrea Rossi for careful reading of the manuscript. We thank Maryam Arabsalmani, who re-ran her code for us including our data point in Sect. 3.4.1 . O.E.H. acknowledges the Dutch Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) for a Ph.D. grant. D.M. acknowledges the Instrument center for Danish Astrophysics (IDA) for funding. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/20072013)/ERC Grant agreement No. EGGS-278202 (J. P. U. F). T.K. acknowledges support by the European Commission under the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship Programme in FP7. The research of A.d.U.P. is supported by the Spanish project AYA2012-39362-C02-02 and by the European Commission under the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant programme (FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG 322307). The Dark Cosmology Centre is funded by the DNRF.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/23741||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/08/aa25001-14/aa25001-14.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201425001||Bibcode ADS:||2015A&A...580A.139H||Fulltext:||open|
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