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A Comprehensive Catalog of Gamma-Ray Bursts Observed by the Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope

Presentation #135.01 in the session “Gamma-ray Bursts”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
A Comprehensive Catalog of Gamma-Ray Bursts Observed by the Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope

The Etelman Observatory of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands houses a 0.5m automated Cassegrain telescope called the Virgin Island Robotic Telescope (VIRT). The primary science objective of VIRT is optical follow-up of NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) to improve our understanding of their progenitors. Additional VIRT science goals include other short-lived transients (e.g., LIGO-Virgo gravity wave triggers), and extra-solar planet observations. VIRT, and the observatory also serve as a key research facility for students in UVI’s Physics Degree with a Concentration in Astronomy. Here we detail 26 GRBs followed-up by VIRT during the period of February to August 2020, including three GCN detections and seven GCN upper limit reports of Swift- and Fermi-detected GRBs. In addition, we present results from our participation in the follow-up campaigns of GW170817, S200213t, ZTF20aamvnth, and ZTF20aamvmzj. Our image reduction pipeline used for near-real time photometric analysis of transient observations, and the typical response time of VIRT to such events are discussed, as well.


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