The Gamma-Ray Burst Online Index is a database of information on gamma-ray bursts, presented in tabular format.
This website is motivated by several major concerns.
- It is currently very tedious to look up information on many bursts at once. Currently, users must laboriously download and parse existing online catalogs to pick out GRBs fulfilling even very simple criteria (for example, more than 2 hours in right ascension from the Sun and at least 10 degrees from the Galactic plane). GRBOX allows simultaneous cuts in many different observable parameters and can sort by any of them.
- With the deluge of bursts provided by Swift, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of the vast majority of past bursts, including in some cases important ones. While numerous methods of looking up information on individual bursts exist, as do large databases of different sorts of information on many bursts, there is a pressing need to be able to rapidly look through a large catalog of GRBs and pick out which objects were of interest months or years after the fact. By providing short, one-line summaries, brief judgements of a burst's 'importance' (low, medium, or high) and quick links to published references from ADS, this website is intended to help sort the wheat from the chaff.
- Often, the information in the GCN circulars is not the best available - publications and online catalogs sometimes contained improved positions, measurements of E_peak, etc. (For example, no available online catalog uses the positions of Butler (2007), which provides astrometrically corrected positions for bursts detected by the Swift XRT that for bursts before mid-2007 are often several arcseconds better than those provided in the GCN circulars.) GRBOX is manually compiled from the GCN circulars as well as other resources to (as much as is possible) include the best information available.
- Fourth, it is a convenient source for pre-release of our upcoming host galaxy catalog compiled from Keck Observatory. This will be coming at a later date.
The central database is stored as a manually-edited XML file created and maintained by Daniel Perley, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, with assistance from undergraduate student Yvonne Kemper. The primary source of data is the GCN circulars, but other online cataloges as well as published papers have also been searched for the best information available on each burst when possible.
Sources of information, and other online GRB resources that have been invaluable in acquiring this information, include:
This is not a complete list, and other references are cited as appropriate (click on or mouseover any reported value in the table to display the appropriate reference).
The above only refers to the manually edited core information. Other information is stored in separate files that are (when necessary) parsed from other online resources on a periodic basis; usually once per week. These are as follows:
- Host galaxy limiting magnitudes, taken using the faintest afterglow detection/nondetection from GRBlog
- Number of published papers; taken by executing a query on bursts with the GRB name in the title, supplemented by user-added references.
- HETE GRB durations and E_peaks, taken from the HETE GRB table.
- Astrometrically-corrected XRT positions from Butler 2007. This includes both positions in the paper and more recent updates since then, including on newer GRBs.
- E_peaks and T90s for Swift bursts from Butler et al. 2007 based on a reprocessing of the BAT data.
- Detection of X-ray, optical, and radio afterglow from Jochen Greiner's GRB table.
- X-ray fluxes at 11 hours and gamma-ray fluences from tables compiled by Nysewander et al. 2008.
Usage and Help
It is hoped that this table is useful for your research. Please send questions or comments, including bug reports and suggestions for improvement, to Daniel Perley (firstname.lastname@example.org). Note that a help file is also online, as is a list of known bugs and planned improvements.
Note that the site is currently in beta-testing. There are significant, known bugs in some aspects of the display, and numerous additional features are planned or in development for the near future. It is anticipated that the full release will occur sometime in 2008.
D.P. acknowledges inspiration for this website from J. Bloom, access to BAT/XRT data from N. Butler, and extensive assistance with the text commentary from A. Kann. Partial support has been provided by the Sloan Foundation Fellows program and Hellman Faculty Fund.
Site created and maintained by Daniel Perley (UC, Berkeley).
This work has been supported by NASA/Swift Guest Investigator grant NNG06GH50G, the Sloan Foundation Fellows program and Hellman Faculty Fund.
GRBOX is currently in beta-testing. Please report errors, problems, and suggestions for improvements.