Volume 409, Number 2, October II 2003
|Page(s)||L5 - L8|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Letter to the Editor
New search strategy for high z intervening absorbers: GRB 021004, a pilot study*
European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748, Garching bei München, Germany
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Århus University, Ny Munkegade, 8000 Århus C, Denmark
4 Astronomical Observatory, Copenhagen University, Juliane Mariesvej 30, 2100 København K, Denmark
Corresponding author: P. M. Vreeswijk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 August 2003
We present near-infrared narrow- and broad-band imaging of the field of GRB 021004, performed with ISAAC on the UT1 of the ESO Very Large Telescope. The narrow-band filters were chosen to match prominent emission lines at the redshift of the absorption-line systems found against the early-time afterglow of GRB 021004:  at and Hα at , respectively. For the system we find an emission-line source at an impact parameter of 16″, which is somewhat larger than the typical impact parameters of a sample of absorbers at redshifts around unity. Assuming that this tentative redshift-identification is correct, the star formation rate of the galaxy is yr-1. Our study reaches star-formation rate limits (5σ) of 5.7 M yr-1 at , and 7.7 M yr-1 at . These limits correspond to a depth of roughly 0.13 L*. Any galaxy counterpart of the absorbers nearer to the line of sight either has to be fainter than this limit or not be an emission-line source.
Key words: gamma rays: bursts / galaxies: distances and redshifts / quasars: absorption lines
© ESO, 2003
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