Prompt optical observations of Fermi-LAT bursts and GRB 090902B

Source: arXiv


Observations of high energy emission from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) constrain the extreme physical conditions associated with these energetic cosmic explosions. The Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a pair conversion telescope, observes energetic quanta from 30 MeV to > 300 GeV. Synergy of the LAT with the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) enlarges the energy coverage to ~ 7.5 decades, very useful for studying the GRB emission itself. Prompt optical observations and their possible correlations with photon emission at LAT energies help our understanding of the physical mechanisms behind these events. The prompt response times and large fields of of the ROTSE-III telescopes make afterglow observations possible for Fermi bursts with ~ 1 degree localized errors. As an example, GRB 090902B, was observed starting ~ 4803 s after the burst. This is the earliest ground-based optical detection ever made for long-duration bursts sensed by the LAT. The ROTSE detection classifies the optical afterglow of GRB 090902B as one of the brightest. Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures, 2009 Fermi Symposium, eConf Proceedings C091122

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