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GAMMA-RAY BURSTS: 5th Huntsville Symposium. AIP Conference Proceedings


We report on a search for X-ray afterglows from gamma-ray bursts using the ROSAT all-sky survey (RASS) data. If the emission in the soft X-ray band is signif-icantly less beamed than in the gamma-ray band, we expect to detect many afterglows in the RASS. Our search procedure generated 23 afterglow candidates, where about 4 detections are predicted. Follow-up spectroscopy of several counterpart candidates strongly suggests a flare star origin of the RASS events in many, if not all, cases. Given the small number of events we conclude that the data are consistent with comparable beaming angles in the X-ray and gamma-ray bands. Models predicting a large amount of energy emerging as a nearly isotropic X-ray component, and a so far undetected class of “dirty fireballs” and re-bursts are constrained.