ghostsGamma-Ray Burst Host Studies – GHostS – is the largest public database dedicated to galaxies hosting  gamma-ray burst events. As of August 2015, GHostS contains:

  • information about 233 galaxies at redshift between 0 and 8.3
  • multi-band UV/optical/near-ID/mid-IR/radio photometry
  • optical/near-IR spectroscopy
  • data from 418 papers
  • Virtual Observatory features

and has been used by the scientific community for the publications of 33 peer-reviewed articles.


The GRB 130603B (redshift z = 0.3568, as observed with Hubble Space Telescope by Tanvir and collaborators).

The GRB 130603B (redshift z = 0.3568) as observed with Hubble Space Telescope by N. Tanvir and collaborators.


Gamma-ray burst host galaxies

Galaxies hosting gamma-ray bursts (GRB) were mainly unknown before 1997, when the first galaxy was identified and studied. Most of them are small, similar to the Large Magellanic Cloud, the satellite galaxy to our Milky Way. The difference is that galaxies hosting GRBs are forming stars at a much higher rate, typically 5-10 stars every year.


The database

GHostS is a SQL database that provides easy access to information obtained from ground- and space-based facilities. It also shows images of the relevant field in the sky as seen by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Digitalized Sky Survey (POSS, SERC). The presentation of scientific data makes the database not only an invaluable research tool, but also very enjoyable to navigate for the scientific community. GHostS is partly funded by Spitzer/NASA grant RSA Agreement 1287913.

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