The European Observation Network : Ground-Based Support for Gamma-Ray Satellites

R. Hudec (1), P. Spurny (1), J. Florian (1), J. Bocek (1), M. Tichy (2), J. Ticha (2), L. Vyskocil (3) W. Wenzel (4), S. Barthelmy (5), T. Cline (5), N. Gehrels (5), G. Fishmann (6), C. Kouveliotou (7), C. Meegan (7), A. Mutafov (8), F. Hovorka (9)

(1) Astronomical Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ-251 65 Ondrejov, Czech Republic
(2) Klet' Observatory, Zatkovo nabrezi 4, CZ-370 01 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
(3) Upice Observatory, CZ-54232 Upice, Czech Republic
(4) Sternwarte Sonneberg, D-96515 Sonneberg, Germany
(5) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
(6) NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA
(7) USRA at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA
(8) Astronomical Observatory, P.O.Box 36, BG-1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
(9) Observatory, Zamecek 456, CZ-500 08 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Abstract. While there is extended monitoring of the sky at gamma rays from satellites, mainly provided by the COMPTON Gamma Ray Observatory, there is still a lack of high-quality optical simultaneous and quasi-simultaneous data. On the other hand, the still puzzling nature of Gamma Ray Bursts requires a complex and multispectral approach. The situation changed significantly after the introduction of the BACODINE system which is able to notify ground-based observers immediately after the detection of bursts on the GRO satellite. We present and discuss preliminary results obtained with the European Observation Network providing such follow-up optical observations. This network consists of nine observatories in the Czech Republic, Germany and Bulgaria and has been involved into the BACODINE activities since April 1, 1994.

Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, 1997, Vol. 14, pp. 65-77
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