Paper including amateur obs. of GRB 221009A published in ApJL

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Thu, 05/11/2023 - 16:37

Here's a recent success story for amateur GRB observations. A new paper has now been published in the journal "The Astrophysical Journal Letters" with the title

"GRANDMA and HXMT Observations of GRB 221009A: The Standard Luminosity Afterglow of a Hyperluminous Gamma-Ray Burst—In Gedenken an David Alexander Kann" [*]

Among the authors are also amateur astronomers who contributed data points, some with familiar names, e.g. F. D. Romanov is an AAVSO observer who in the past shared some of his observations in this forum. Well done! 

GRB 221009A wasn't just an ordinary gamma ray burst. Even tho it wasn't super-bright in optical light, in gamma rays it set new records and is now known by the nickname "BOAT" (brightest of all times). It has been calculated [1] that an event this bright in gamma rays should be observable on Earth ony once every ca 10000 years (!!), so having the chance to contribute to the analysis of this rare event was extremely fortunate.

A whole collection of papers published in ApJL on this very special event can be found under this link: [2]

I think this is a great example how even single observations from amateurs, pooled together and combined with professional astronomers' work, can contribute to science.




[*] The title ends in German, meaning "in memoriam David Alexander Kann". Only days before the article was submitted for publication, Professor D.A. Kann passed away at the age of only 46.