The anomalous early afterglow of GRB 050801

E. S. Rykoff*, V. Mangano, S. A. Yost, R. Sari, F. Aharonian, C. W. Akerlof, M. C.B. Ashley, S. D. Barthelmy, D. N. Burrows, N. Gehrels, E. Göǧüş, T. Güver, D. Horns, Ü Kiziloǧlu, H. A. Krimm, T. A. Mckay, M. Özel, A. Phillips, R. M. Quimby, G. RowellW. Rujopakarn, B. E. Schaefer, D. A. Smith, H. F. Swan, W. T. Vestrand, J. C. Wheeler, J. Wren, F. Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The ROTSE-IIIc telescope at the HESS site, Namibia, obtained the earliest detection of optical emission from a gamma-ray burst (GRB), beginning only 21.8 s from the onset of Swift GRB 050801. The optical light curve does not fade or brighten significantly over the first ∼250 s, after which there is an achromatic break and the light curve declines in typical power-law fashion. The Swift XRT also obtained early observations starting at 69 s after the burst onset. The X-ray light curve shows the same features as the optical light curve. These correlated variations in the early optical and X-ray emission imply a common origin in space and time. This behavior is difficult to reconcile with the standard models of early afterglow emission.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)L5-L8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma rays: bursts


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