CCD Astronomy
GRB 030329

On Sunday, March 30 I imaged the optical counterpart to Gamma Ray Burst GRB 030329 with a 6" refractor and ST7e camera from suburban Los Angeles.

This image is a composite of 89 thirty second images at f/7 made March 31, 2003 between 07:50 and 08:49 UT, unfiltered. The measured redshift of GRB 030329 was .168, putting the object at least 2 billion light years from earth. At the time that I imaged the GRB, it was approximately magnitude 16.5 in R.

For reference, here is the corresponding dss2 red image for this field:

And here is the same image with an arrow pointing to the spot where the OT appeared:

More information on GRB 030329 is here:

GRB 030329 was observed visually from Finland a few hours after the initial flash (approx. 1.5 days before I imaged the event). It has been reported that this may be the first GRB optical transient ever observed visually.