Discovery and Observations of the Optical Afterglow of GRB 071010B
Hankasalmi Observatory, Hankasalmi, Finland
AAVSO, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138
David Alexander Kann
Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, D-07778 Tautenburg, Germany
Received December 18, 2007; revised February 11, 2008; accepted February 11, 2008
The discovery of the optical afterglow by A. Oksanen is the first discovery of a GRB afterglow by an amateur astronomer since the discovery of GRB 030725 by L. A. G. Monard in 2003 (Monard 2003). The early detection of this afterglow and subsequent dissemination of coordinates via the GCN has proved very valuable from a scientific standpoint. These data are the earliest available photometry for this burst, enabling the study of the early stages of the GRB optical light. They were also the first localization, and these coordinates were subsequently used by other major optical facilities for their follow-up observations. This burst clearly shows that individual observers still have a role to play in GRB observations even in the era of automated, robotic telescopes, and that the amateur community is an important partner of the professional community in the observation of GRB afterglows.