Title

Prompt optical detection of GRB 050401 with ROTSE-IIIa

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2005

Abstract

The ROTSE-IIIa telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, Australia, detected prompt optical emission from Swift GRB 050401. We present observations of the early optical afterglow, first detected by the ROTSE-IIIa telescope 33 s after the start of γ-ray emission, contemporaneous with the brightest peak of this emission. This GRB was neither exceptionally long nor bright. This is the first prompt optical detection of a GRB of typical duration and luminosity. We find that the early afterglow decay does not deviate significantly from the power-law decay observable at later times and is uncorrelated with the prompt γ-ray emission. We compare this detection with the other two GRBs with prompt observations, GRB 990123 and GRB 041219a. All three bursts exhibit quite different behavior at early times. © 2005. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Astrophysical Journal

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