BeppoSAX follow-up observations of the region of the Gamma-ray burst GRB 970228The gamma ray burst, GRB 970228, was discovered simultaneously in the data from the Gamma Ray Burst Monitor and Wide Field Cameras onboard by the team of italian/dutch scientists at 05:00 am on Friday 28th february who continually monitor the satellite data at the Scientific Operations Center in Nuova Telespazio, Rome.
On the basis of experience gained
in January (when a similar gamma-ray burst was observed in the
constellation of Serpens by BeppoSAX, and studied in detail 16 hours
later, in comparison with the previous record for a X-ray observation
of about 18 days) the italian scientists responsible for the gamma-ray
burst detector onboard the satellite (E. Costa, CNR, and F. Frontera,
University of Ferrara), in conjunction with the Mission Scientist
(L. Piro, CNR) and the Mission Director (R. C. Butler, ASI), were able
to reschedule the satellite observations and point the BeppoSAX narrow
field X-ray telescopes in only 8 hours at the gamma-ray burst
source. In consequence a X-ray source never before seen was discovered
and localized with an accuracy of one hundreth of a degree. The source
is actually in the constellation of Orion.
SAX J0501.7+1146, has been detected by the MECS and LECS at the same position (R.A. = 5h01m44s, Decl. = +11o46'.7, equinox 2000.0; estimated error radius 50"). This position lies at the edge of the reported BeppoSAX WFC error box. The source flux is (2.8 +/- 0.4) x 10-12 erg cm-2 s-1 in the MECS (2-10 keV) and (4.0 +/- 0.6) x 10-12 erg cm-2 s-1 in the LECS (0.5-10 keV). The field was observed again on Mar. 3.734, and a source was detected at a position consistent with the previous one, but at a flux level lower by a factor of 20.
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