Searches for low-energy counterparts of gamma-ray bursters

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I report on the results of six studies related to identifying low-energy counterparts of gamma-ray bursters (GRBs). These studies have used the Very Large Array in New Mexico, the 3.0m IRTF telescope in Hawaii, the 4.0m, 1.5m, and 0.6m telescopes at CTIO in Chile, the 1.3m telescope at KPNO in Arizona, the Point Source Catalog of the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, the collection of archival photographs at Harvard, and a collaboration with the Gamma Ray Burst Source Monitoring System (GMS) of Pedersen and coworkers at ESO in Chile. The main results of these studies are: (1) The near infrared observations pose serious difficulties for several GRB models. (2) I can find no precedent or plausible explanation for the 8 February 1984 optical flash of Pedersen et al. /1/ other than that the flash originated on a GRB. (3) The star in the middle of the 1944 optical transient (OT) error box has an ultraviolet excess which is significant at the 95% confidence level-a result which strongly suggests that the object is indeed the quiescent GRB optical counterpart. (4) If the previous result is true, then most likely, GRBs are low-mass contact binaries caused by thermonuclear or accretion instabilities at distances of roughly 1 kpc. © 1986.

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Advances in Space Research

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