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Strategies for prompt searches for GRB afterglows: The discovery of the GRB 001011 optical/near-infrared counterpart using colour-colour selection

By GOROSABEL, J., FYNBO, J. U., HJORTH, J., WOLF, C., ANDERSEN, M. I., PEDERSEN, H., CHRISTENSEN, L., JENSEN, B. L., LLER, P. MO, AFONSO, J., TREYER, M. A., MALL'EN-ORNELAS, G., CASTRO-TIRADO, A. J., FRUCHTER, A., GREINER, J., PIAN and E.VREESWIJK, P. M., FRONTERA F., F., KAPER, L., KLOSE, S., KOUVELIOTOU, C., MASETTI, N., PALAZZI and E.ROL and E.SALAMANCA, I., TANVIR, N., WIJERS, R. A. M. J., VAN DEN HEUVEL and E.

Abstract

We report the discovery of the optical and near-infrared counterparts to GRB 001011. The GRB 001011 error box determined by Beppo-SAX was simultaneously imaged in the near-infrared by the 3.58-m New Technology Telescope and in the optical by the 1.54-m Danish Telescope ~8 hr after the gamma-ray event. Here we implement the colour-colour discrimination technique proposed by Rhoads (\cite{Rhoa00a}) and extend it using near-IR data as well. We present the results provided by an automatic colour-colour discrimination pipe-line developed to discern the different populations of objects present in the GRB 001011 error box. Our software revealed three candidates based on single-epoch images. Second-epoch observations carried out ~3.2 days after the burst revealed that the most likely candidate had faded, thus identifying it with the counterpart to the GRB. In deep R-band images obtained 7 months after the burst a faint (R=25.38 ± 0.25) elongated object, presumably the host galaxy of GRB 001011, was detected at the position of the afterglow. The GRB 001011 afterglow is the first discovered with the assistance of colour-colour diagram techniques. We discuss the advantages of using this method and its application to error boxes determined by future missions. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla and Paranal, Chile (ESO Programmes 165.H-0464(A), 165.H-0464(E) and 165.H-0464(G))

Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/1202249
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