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Astron. Astrophys. 327, L36-L38

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Letter to the Editor

The optical transient of GRB970228, 16 hours after the burst

F. Pedichini1, A. Di Paola1, L. Stella1,2, R. Buonanno1, A. Boattini1, G. Gandolfi3, E. Costa4, M. Feroci4, L. Piro4, D. Dal Fiume5, F. Frontera5,6, L. Nicastro5, E. Palazzi5, J. Heise7, J. in't Zand7, and M. Vietri8

1Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via dell'Osservatorio 2, I-00040 Monteporzio Catone (Roma), Italy
(e-mail: pedik, dipaola, stella, buonanno, boattini@coma.mporzio.astro.it)
2Affiliated to the International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics
3Beppo-SAX Scientific Data Centre, Via Corcolle 19, I-00131 Roma, Italy (e-mail: gandolfi@napa.sdc.asi.it)
4Istituto Astrofisica Spaziale, C. N. R., Via E. Fermi 21, I-00044 Frascati (Roma), Italy (e-mail: costa, feroci, piro@saturn.ias.fra.cnr.it)
5Istituto TeSRE, C. N. R., Via P. Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna , Italy (e-mail: dalfiume, filippo, nicastro, palazzi@tesre.bo.cnr.it)
6Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Ferrara, Via Paradiso 12, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
7Space Research Organisation in the Netherlands, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands (e-mail: jheise, jeanz@sron.ruu.nl)
8Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Roma 3, Via della Vasca Navale 84, I-00146 Roma, Italy (e-mail: vietri@corelli.fis.uniroma3.it)

Received 10 July 1997 / Accepted 2 September 1997


Until recently the positions of gamma ray bursts were not sufficiently well known within a short timescale to localize and identify them with known celestial sources. Following the historical detection of the X-ray afterglow of the burst GRB970228, extending from 30 s to 3 days after the main peak, by the Beppo-SAX satellite (Costa et al. 1997), and that of an optical transient $\sim 21$ hr after the burst (van Paradijs et al. 1997, hereafter VP), we report here the detection of the same optical transient, in images obtained $\sim 4.5$ hr hours earlier than in VP.

Key words: X-ray - Gamma Ray Burst - Optical Transient

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 20, 1997
Last change: April 6, 1998