GRB 090429B: enlightening the dark ages of the Universe

Antonino Cucchiara
(LBNL / UC Berkeley)


In the last 4 decades Gamma-ray Bursts have been one of the most attractive and useful tools for exploring the early stages of the Universe.

The tremendous energy released by GRB explosions (more than thousands of times of a Supernovae) allow them to be seen up to redshift z>10. I will review some of the key elements of Gamma-ray bursts physics and the importance of GRBs as factory of High-Energy Gamma-rays, as well as star formation tracers and their role as diagnostics for the chemical evolution of the Interstellar and Intergalactic medium. Finally I will focus on the recent discovery of a GRB at z = 9.4 (~500 million years after the Big Bang), which likely represents one of the furthest objects ever observed, leaving great hope for the future of GRB science-driven missions and the exploration of the re-ionization era and the "Dark Ages" of the Universe. (Paper: