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Astron. Astrophys. 335, L5-L8 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Detection of the near-infrared counterpart of GRB 971214 3.2 hours after the gamma-ray event *

J. , Gorosabel 1, A.J. , Castro-Tirado 1, 2, C.J. , Willott 3, H. , Hippelein 4, J. , Greiner 5, A. , Shlyapnikov 6, S. , Guziy 7, E. , Costa 8, M. , Feroci 8, F. , Frontera 9, L. , Nicastro 10, E. and Palazzi 11

1 Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (LAEFF-INTA), P.O. Box 50727, E-28080 Madrid, Spain
2 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), P.O. Box 03004, E-18080 Granada, Spain
3 Astrophysics, Department of Physics, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH, U.K.
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
5 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany
6 Space Research Group, Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory, Astronomical Observatory, Observatornaja, 327030 Nikolaev, Ukraine
7 Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory, 327000 Nikolaev, Ukraine
8 Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, CNR, Frascati, Italy
9 Dipartamento di Fisica, Università di Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
10 Istituto Astrofisica Spaziale, CNR, Via Fosso del Cavaliere, I-00131 Roma, Italy
11 Istituto Tecnologie e Studio Radiazioni Extraterrestri, CNR, Via P. Gobetti, I-40129 Bologna, Italy

Received 22 April 1998 / Accepted 27 April 1998

Abstract

We report the detection of the GRB 971214 counterpart in the near-infrared by means of two images in the [FORMULA] -band taken at Calar Alto only [FORMULA] 3.5 and [FORMULA] 5 hours after the gamma-ray event. We detect the transient at [FORMULA] = [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] = [FORMULA] respectively. Our data seem to indicate the existence of a plateau with duration [FORMULA] hours (between 3.5 and 10.2 hours after the high-energy event). Moreover the power-law decline should be steeper than the one given by the index [FORMULA]. There is also a change in the slope of the broad-band spectrum at some wavelength between the J and [FORMULA] bands (possibly around the H-band).

Key words: gamma rays: bursts - methods: observational

* Based on observations carried out at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar-Alto, operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, jointly with the Spanish National Commission for Astronomy.

Send offprint requests to: J. Gorosabel (e-mail: jgu@laeff.esa.es)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 12, 1998

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