The bright optical afterglow of the nearby γ-ray burst of 29 March 2003

P. A. Price, D. W. Fox, S. R. Kulkarni, B. A. Peterson, B. P. Schmidt, A. M. Soderberg, S. A. Yost, E. Berger, S. G. Djorgovski, D. A. Frall, F. A. Harrison, R. Sari, A. W. Blain, S. C. Chapman

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Past studies of cosmological γ-ray bursts (GRBs) have been hampered by their extreme distances, resulting in faint afterglows. A nearby GRB could potentially shed much light on the origin of these events, but GRBs with a redshift z ≤ 0.2 have been estimated to occur only rarely, about once per decade. Here we report the discovery of the bright optical afterglow emission from the burst of 29 March 2003 (GRB030329; ref. 2). The brightness of the afterglow and the prompt report of its position resulted in extensive follow-up observations at many wavelengths, along with the measurement of the redshift, z = 0.169 (ref. 4). The γ-ray and afterglow properties of GRB030329 are similar to those of GRBs at cosmological redshifts. Observations have already identified the progenitor as a massive star that exploded as a supernova.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-847
Number of pages4
Issue number6942
StatePublished - Jun 19 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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