Science and goals

Burst Optical Observer and Transient Exploring System    

( A world wide Network of Robotic Telescopes )

Summary of scientific objectives

The observation of the GRB error box simultaneously to the GRB occurrence. Although the first detected optical counteparts were not brighter than 19th mag few hours after the burst, there have been several GRBs for which optical transient emission has been detected simultaneously to the gamma-ray event, with magnitudes in the range 5-10. The faint transient emission that has been detected few hours after the event is a consequence of the expanding remnant that the GRB leaves behind it. This provides information about the surrounding medium, but not about the burster itself. The fast slewing 0.6m BOOTES telescopes should produce important results in this field.

The detection of optical flashes (OTs) of cosmic origin, that could be unrelated to GRBs and constitute a new type of different astrophysical phenomenon (perhaps associated to QSOs/AGNs). If some of them are related to GRBs, the most recent GRB models predict that there should be a large number of bursting sources in which only transient X-ray/optical emission should be observed, but no gamma-ray emission. The latter would be confined in a jet-like structure and pointing towards us only in a few cases.

The monitoring of high-energy targets in different optical, as ground-based support for the ESA's International Gamma-Ray Laboratory ( INTEGRAL ), in which Spain had, for the first time, the leadership in one of the instruments, the Optical Transient Camera (OMC). This included test of technologies, methods, data processing, groud based observational network, etc. INTEGRAL was launched in 2002.

The monitoring of several objects (bright AGNs/QSOs, old GRB positions, etc.) looking for recurrent optical transient optical emission arising from these sources. There are hints that sudden and rapid flares occurs, though of smaller amplitude. This will be achieved by means of the 0.6-m network of BOOTES telescopes.