Dramatic progress in gamma-ray burst astronomy has followed the recent identifications of several GRBs at X-ray, optical, and radio wavelengths. Counterpart observations are critical for establishing the burst distance scale, identifying galactic hosts, and establishing the GRB energy source and emission mechanism. Ad hoc follow-up observations have been made of the first half-dozen GRBs for which arcminute position determinations were available. Five fading X-ray sources were detected, optical emission was observed from two sources, and one radio counterpart was found. The next-generation GRB satellite BOLT will provide few-arcsecond positions for several hundred bursts, which will be distributed within minutes through the GCN. Such a large number of targets requires new strategies for organizing follow-up observations. Fast arcsecond positioning opens new possibilities for spectroscopy as well as for deep searches for very faint counterparts. In this poster, we describe the BOLT burst distribution system, and plans for systematic observations of the resulting large burst sample. We describe the data products and facilities that will be available to all observers interested in rapid notification of bursts detected by BOLT.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1997