Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-1989

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


We derive upper limits on the angular correlation function W(θ) of γ-ray bursts and show that these limits substantially constrain the sources to be very nearby or very distant. Since quiescent counterparts of γ-ray bursts have not as yett been unambiguously identified in any wavelength band, the γ burst distance scale remains uncertain. Earlier work has shown that the angular distribution of γ-ray burts on the celestial sphere axies of clusters. To test whether or not γ-ray bursts are associated with objects at great distance, we compare their clustering propertis with theose of known extragalctic populations, such as galaxies or galaxy clusters. We have determined the angular clustering properties of the sources in two recent γ-ray burst catalogs by tent with w(θ) = 0. Under the assumption that the underlying spatial correlation is a power law in radius, the derived upper limit on w(θ) can be used to constain the correlation length of the characterstics survey depth of γ-ray burst catalogs. In particular, if the spatial correlation of γ-ray bursts resembles that of galaxies or galaxy clusters, present γ-ray burst catalogs must be complete to distances in excess of 100 Mpc. Alternatively, if γ-ray bursts are associated with a disk population within the Galaxy, then the upper limits on w() constrain the sampling depth to less two disk scale heights