Astronomy & Astrophysics
The rapid dissemination of an arcmin-sized HETE-2 localization of the long-duration X-ray ﬂash GRB 030528 led to a ground-based multi-observatory follow-up campaign. We report the discovery of the near-IR afterglow, and also describe the detection of the underlying host galaxy in the optical and near-IR bands. The afterglow is classiﬁed as “optically dark” as it was not detected in the optical band. The K-band photometry presented here suggests that the lack of optical detection was simply the result of observational limitations (lack of rapid and deep observations plus high foreground extinction). Simple power law ﬁts to the afterglow in the K-band suggest a typically decay with a slope of α=1.2. The properties of the host are consistent with the idea that GRB hosts are star forming blue galaxies. The redshift of GRB 030528 can not be determined accurately, but the data favour redshifts less than unity. In addition, we present an optical and near-IR analysis of the X-ray source CXOU J170354.0–223654 from the vicinity of GRB 030528.
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