The host galaxy of GRB 031203: A new spectroscopic study

R. Margutti, G. Chincarini, S. Covino, G. Tagliaferri, S. Campana, M. Della Valle, A. V. Filippenko, F. Fiore, R. Foley, D. Fugazza, P. Giommi, D. Malesani, A. Moretti, L. Stella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. The host galaxy of the long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) 031203 (HG031203) offers a precious opportunity to study in detail the environment of a nearby GRB. The aim is to better characterize this galaxy and analyse the possible evolution with time of the spectroscopic quantities we derive. Methods. We analyse HG 031203 using a set of optical spectra acquired with the ESO-VLT and Keck telescope. We compare the metallicity, luminosity and star formation properties of this galaxy and of the other supernova-long gamma-ray burst hosts in the local universe (z < 0.2) against the KPNO International Spectroscopic Survey. Results. HG 031203 is a metal poor, actively star forming galaxy (star formation rate of 12.9 ± 2.2M yr-1) at z = 0.1054. From the emission-line analysis we derive an intrinsic reddening E HG(B - V) ≈ 0.4. This parameter doesn't show a compelling evidence of evolution at a month time-scale. We find an interstellar medium temperature of ≈12 500 K and an electronic density of Ne = 160 cm -3. After investigating for possible Wolf-Rayet emission features in our spectra, we consider dubious the classification of HG 031203 as a Wolf-Rayet galaxy. Long gamma-ray burst (LGRB) and supernova hosts in the local universe (z < 0.2) show, on average, specific star formation rates higher than ordinary star forming galaxy at the same redshift. On the other hand, we find that half of the hosts follows the metallicity-luminosity relation found for star-burst galaxies; HG031203 is a clear outlier, with its really low metallicity (12 + log(0/H) = 8.12 ± 0.04).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-826
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: individual: GRB 031203
  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • ISM: abundances
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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