The rapid decay of the optical emission from GRB 980326 and its possible implications

P. J. Groot, T. J. Galama, P. M. Vreeswijk, R. A.M.J. Wijers, E. Pian, E. Palazzi, J. Van Paradijs, C. Kouveliotou, J. J.M. In 'T Zand, J. Heise, C. Robinson, N. Tanvir, C. Lidman, C. Tinney, M. Keane, M. Briggs, K. Hurley, J. F. Gonzalez, P. Hall, M. G. SmithR. Covarrubias, P. G. Jonker, J. Casares, N. Masetti, F. Frontera, M. Feroci, L. Piro, E. Costa, R. Smith, B. Jones, D. Windridge, J. Bland-Hawthorn, S. Veilleux, M. Garcia, W. R. Brown, K. Z. Stanek, A. J. Castro-Tirado, J. Gorosabel, J. Greiner, K. Jäger, A. Böhm, K. J. Fricke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the discovery of the optical counterpart to GRB 980326. Its rapid optical decay can be characterized by a power law with exponent -2.10 ± 0.13 and a constant underlying source at Rc = 25.5 ± 0.5. Its optical colors 2.1 days after the burst imply a spectral slope of -0.66 ± 0.70. The γ-ray spectrum as observed with BATSE shows that it is among the 4% softest bursts ever recorded. We argue that the rapid optical decay may be a reason for the nondetection of some low-energy afterglows of GRBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L123-L127
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Gamma rays: observations
  • Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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