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Alert Notice 372: Possible naked-eye gamma ray burst detected (GRB 080319B)

March 19, 2008: The intense gamma-ray burst GRB 080319B was detected in gamma ray, x-ray, optical light, and early indications by two automated cameras suggest that the optical afterglow of the burst may have briefly reached naked-eye visibility (mag ~ 5.76, GCN 7445, Cwiok et al) within 60 seconds of the onset. It is highly unlikely the burst was caught visually, but it is possible the burst may have been detected if any observers were monitoring this area of the sky (e.g. for minor planet searching).

The coordinates of the burst are:

RA: 14 31 40.98 , Dec: +36 18 8.8 (J2000)

Observers with any images of this field taken since 2008 March 19 0600 UT are urgently asked to check these images for optical transients. This includes wide-field images, sky and meteor patrol images, and any and all CCD imaging, filtered or not.

Observers are also asked to obtain additional images of this field as the afterglow decays. The object was at magnitude 16 less than ten hours post burst, but it may remain within range of observers with 12-inch or larger telescope apertures and CCD cameras.

If you are able to obtain any magnitudes, magnitude estimates, or limits from your images, please submit them to the AAVSO International Database with the name "GRB 080319B" or AUID "000-BFT-137".

This AAVSO Alert Notice was prepared by Matthew Templeton.

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