I wanted to know if there was some database for gamma ray burst (GRB) data. I would like to get the luminosity and duration of recorded GRBs.

So far, I have come across this website, but since I do not know more about GRBs I wanted to know if there was someone with experience who could point me in the right direction.

  • $\begingroup$ You can probably get the uncalibrated and calibrated fluxes from several satellites and ground based experiments, but I don't think that really translates into a "luminosity" in the sense of stellar luminosity, since that would require a calibrated physics model, which doesn't exist for GRBs as far as I know. It's not a bad question, though. What are you trying to do with the data? Just plot it or are you trying to do some serious physics? $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    May 19, 2016 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ There are several locations for this. The Wind/KONUS instrument, for example, has a list of GRBs. You can also go to the Gamma-ray Coordinates Network which has GRB lists as well. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot for the comments and the answer. I am actually interested in doing some serious physics with the data but I mainly need just the GRB times and the distances (for now). I decided to go with the IceCube catalog mentioned in the answer for now. $\endgroup$
    – OTH
    May 23, 2016 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


The key word, to answer your question, is wavelength, as in: which wavelengths are you interested in?

So far, GRBs have been seen in all wavebands, from TeV down to radio frequencies (of course, not all GRBs have been observed at all frequencies). The waveband in which GRBs release most of their energy is, unsurprisingly, that of $\gamma$ rays, with hard $X$ coming a close second at $5\%$ of the total energy release. The other wavebands make their appearance later on, during the afterglow phase and, though energetically negligible, they provide essential clues as to the location and nature of the underlying sources.

Data at $\gamma$ and $X$ frequencies is conveniently collected in the databases of the satellites having performed the observations. The other data instead are not collected by a few, centralized scientific enterprises, but most often by collections of astronomers who may or may not share their data with interlopers and/or colleagues.

As for the main satellites:

  1. For BATSE (the GRB experiment onboard the Compton satellite), you find their data and instructions on how to reduce them at https://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/cgro/batse/

  2. For BeppoSAX, the Italian satellite responsible for establishing the comsological distribution of GRBs, you find a list of the catalogs at http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/cgro/db-perl/W3Browse/w3table.pl?MissionHelp=bepposax

  3. For Swift, the NASA satellite which has provided the largest, newest, most complete observations of GRBs, you find their database at http://swift.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/

  4. Integral has also an important GRB database, available at http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/integral/science-grb

  5. The extremely important Fermi data are also available courtesy of NASA (God bless them, and their open policy), here, and then here and further here (they are all different catalogs, mind you, not three copies of the same thing).

  6. Konus does not have a publicly accessible database, but they have published their results here (again courtesy of NASA, God bless them).

  7. The Suzaku-WAM data are available here.

Alternatively, you may look at the IceCube catalog: though compiled to a different aim (study the possible emission of neutrinos from GRBs), it contains much information about the prompt phase, and also some about the afterglow phase. The above catalog does not include information, however, about now-dead satellites, Compton and BeppoSAX. The whole catalog is described in this preprint. This catalog is useful aslo because it contains data from satellites (Super-Agile, Konus) which do not have a publicly available database.

All of the Web sites contain information both about reducing the data, if you feel so inclined, and about journal articles where the data have been made public already (when this is the case).

Lastly, and just for the sake of completeness, you can find a database about the GRB hosts (i.e., the galaxies they reside in) with references, here.

  • $\begingroup$ The two links I posted in my comment on the question are open data resources that both contain data from the _Wind_/KONUS instrument. $\endgroup$ May 23, 2016 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MariusMatutiae Thanks a lot for your very thorough answer. I and hopefully many others will appreciate it. I was wondering if you happened to know if the SWIFT database also recorded cosmological redshifts of the GRBs. $\endgroup$
    – OTH
    Jun 20, 2016 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Otto Yes it does. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2016 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MariusMatutiae Thanks Marius. Will check it out more thoroughly. $\endgroup$
    – OTH
    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:32

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