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Astron. Astrophys. 347, L31-L34 (1999)

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Letter to the Editor

Early detection of the optical counterpart to GRB 980329 * ** ***

J. Gorosabel 1, A.J. Castro-Tirado 1,2, A. Pedrosa 3, M.R. Zapatero-Osorio 4, A.J.L. Fernades 3,5, M. Feroci 6, E. Costa 6 and F. Frontera 7,8

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 Centro de Astrofisica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas s/n 15, 4150 Porto, Portugal
4 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
5 Intituto Superior da Maia, 4470 Maia, Portugal
6 Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, CNR, Frascati, Italy
7 Istituto Tecnologie e Studio Radiazioni Extraterrestri, CNR, Via P. Gobetti, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
8 Dipartamento di Fisica, Università di Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy

Received 26 February 1999 / Accepted 7 June 1999


We report optical observations of the GRB 980329 error box which represent the second earliest detection of the GRB 980329 optical transient. We determine R = 23.7 [FORMULA] 0.5 mag on 29.89 March, which is consistent with R = 23.6 [FORMULA] 0.2 mag as reported by Palazzi et al. (1998) on 29.99 March. Based on extrapolations of the light curve we claim that the R-band magnitude of the GRB 980329 host galaxy should lie in the range 26.8 mag [FORMULA] R [FORMULA] 29 mag. We also discuss the similarities with GRB 970111.

Key words: methods: observational – gamma rays: bursts

* Based on observations carried out at the 1.0-m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope operated by the Royal Greenwich Observatory in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
** Based on observations carried out at the 1.5-m Telescope of the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional in Calar Alto.
*** Based on observations carried out at the 1.0-m Optical Ground Station telescope of the European Space Agency in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

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

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 30, 1999