Short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) are produced by the coalescence of compact binary systems which are remnants of massive stars. GRB 160410A is classified as a short-duration GRB with extended emission and is currently the farthest SGRB with a redshift determined from an afterglow spectrum and also one of the brightest SGRBs to date. The fast reaction to the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory alert allowed us to obtain a spectrum of the afterglow using the X-shooter spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The spectrum shows several absorption features at a redshift of z = 1.7177, in addition, we detect two intervening systems at z = 1.581 and z = 1.444. The spectrum shows Ly α in absorption with a column density of log (N(H I)/cm2) = 21.2 ± 0.2 which, together with Fe II, C II, Si II, Al II, and O I, allow us to perform the first study of chemical abundances in a SGRB host galaxy. We determine a metallicity of [X/H] = −2.3 ± 0.2 for Fe II and −2.5 ± 0.2 for Si II and no dust depletion. We also find no evidence for extinction in the afterglow spectral energy distribution modelling. The environment has a low degree of ionization and the C IV and Si IV lines are completely absent. We do not detect an underlying host galaxy down to deep limits. Additionally, we compare GRB 160410A to GRB 201221D, another high-z short GRB that shows absorption lines at z = 1.045 and an underlying massive host galaxy.
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© 2023 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.
- galaxies: ISM
- gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 160410A
- gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 201221D
- neutron star mergers